Zero carbon emission living: ingenuity and woolly hats
May 11, 2009 7:44 AM   Subscribe

The Reas' previous house was destroyed in a winter storm - such are the perils of living on Unst - most northerly of the Shetland isles. On re-building the pensioner couple have constructed what they claim is the world's first occupied zero carbon emission house - using off the shelf materials. Here is a video interview with them and a few more details about the house.

More on the somewhat confusing definitions of zero-energy buildings.

(Unst - population about 700 - also boasts its own unique bus shelter).
posted by rongorongo (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wouldn't the first cave our ancient ancestors took over be the first zero carbon 'house'?

Wood for heat is zero carbon right?
posted by Bonzai at 8:01 AM on May 11, 2009

Oh sure, it's really simple when you are elderly, limited to a pension and far from civilization...oh, wait.

Awesome stuff.

Food will be grown throughout the year using the hydroponic growing system - no soil or peat is used for this process, just nutrients and water. LED lighting will enable five crops a year to be maintained.

Wow. Are they even going to need to buy food? If they own their home, generate energy in situ and grow their own food they have almost zero cost as well.
posted by DU at 8:03 AM on May 11, 2009

world's first occupied zero carbon emission house

I'm highly dubious about this claim. Don't have time for the research this morning, but I didn't see anything they were doing that was significantly different from many other sun, wind, & water powered off-the grid homes that have been around and occupied for a lot longer than this.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:38 AM on May 11, 2009

It isn't just the home. They also have an electric car and greenhouse. No one thing they've done is unprecedented, but it's possible that it's never been done all together and 100%.
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on May 11, 2009

If we want to be strict about carbon emissions we could run down the rabbit hole and ask if all of the materials the house was built from were created with zero-emissions and if their transport to the building site was zero-emission.

Good for them.

Also, that bus shelter pic could have been its own post. Awesome.
posted by sciurus at 9:11 AM on May 11, 2009

such are the perils of living on Unst

I'd think the repetitive, driving beat would be an issue as well.

unst unst unst unst

posted by zippy at 9:45 AM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sorry to threadjack, but avast is giving me a Trojan warning on the "unique bus shelter" link. Can anyone verify?
posted by Maxson at 11:44 AM on May 11, 2009

Getting the same Trojan warning for the link.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 12:00 PM on May 11, 2009

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