The design of the Prasad house renovation evolved from a fusion of the owners’ commitment to green design, the needs of the occupants, and a staged experimental approach to alterations. This is not a ‘cutting-edge’ design, but one that balances no-cost passive solar features, low-energy appliances and the on-site generation of energy.
Material reuse and recycling, and water demand minimisation, collection and reuse are part of the strategy. Professor Prasad espouses what he calls ‘practical sustainability’ – aspiring for measurably zero carbon and sustainable outcomes but at an affordable pace, which differs for every case.
His house is envisaged as an ongoing experiment of thermal performance, with increasing amounts of thermal mass, insulation etc. to be added progressively to optimise performance. Energy use, temperatures and humidity are measured to provide feedback on thermal comfort.
Because of a limited project budget, the design also caters for the future addition of technologies such as photovoltaics and other solar collectors.
This note was originally published in may 2005 as CAS 37. Its authors were Shailja Chandra, Steve King and Deo Prasad. The current version was revised by Deo Prasad in September 2011.