A Grain Silo Becomes a Spacious, Eco Friendly Home

The Silo House is an eco-friendly home located in Phoenix, Arizona. The eco-friendly home was built in 2014 and is located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix’s Garfield Historic District. This eco friendly home was converted from a 1955 corrugated steel grain silo. The Silo House has an 18-foot diameter with 340 square-feet of total livable space. In designing the home, there was a central design challenge to attain a sense of home within a shape and size that was foreign to common perceptions of domesticity. The eco-friendly home manages to achieve spaciousness and simplicity by accommodating all functions for living in a two-story walnut and black steel volume that sits within the silo’s southern perimeter.

This architectural design approach maximizes the construction efficiency, the perception of interior volume and usable space. The subterranean air ducts mitigate any mechanical noise from the climate control system that also works passively, in conjunction with an operable skylight located at the top of the silo cone, to help deliver passive cooling throughout the space. The eco-friendly home design manages to come up with a space that is cozy and modern. Outside of the eco-housing, you will find and a design that compliments the gardens that also match the circular pattern of the home, along with walkways and a fence that follow the line of the home.

Passive home design is designed to be extremely energy-efficient so that it doesn’t take very much power to heat or to cool. To be designated as a passive house, an eco-building must embody a set of specific practices that seal it from the outside temperatures while also maintaining a stable inside temperature and high air quality.

Passive homes need to be air-tight, have triple-paned windows, have continuous insulation, and have a great system for controlling the air quality. There are several benefits to passive home design with the top being energy-efficiency. With that energy efficiency there comes a dramatic cost saving on both heating and cooling. And because the internal air temperature is so consistent, passive home designs are more comfortable than a home design where the inside temps oscillate between sweltering and freezing.

Passive solar is named so because there are no wires, batteries or panels and nothing to break down. It's just about eco-building design, and it isn't a new concept either. Humans around the world have been incorporating passive solar design features into their home designs for thousands of years.

The air quality in passive home design will also be better eliminating any staleness or any fumes. The air in passive home design is constantly being circulated and filtered. Passive home designs are also more resilient to power outages or other emergencies. Even without electricity, passive home design will stay at a more comfortable temperature far longer than the average home design, which also makes it a popular choice for hospitals and senior residences. On a colder winter day, you can sit next to the window in a passive house without the need for a heater or without having to wear extra layers because the temperature of the window glass will be very close to the temperature of the room. Comfort is one of the biggest benefits of a passive eco-housing design.

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