Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Mar 11

Self-Heating Ecological House

Posted in Energy Inventions | Environment and Sustainability | Future Technology

Ecological House We come across scores of people unmindful of giving back to nature what they are taking and consuming the resources of nature, haphazardly. But we also come across a privileged few who care about environment and their surroundings and they believe in consuming less and utilizing the resources of nature intelligently. Veljko Milkovic belongs to that rare category of people who believe in and practice clean and green living. He has also written a book known as “Ecological Houses” discussing the details of self-heating sod houses.


Veljko Milkovic was instrumental in building ten sod houses in Serbia, and the first one was constructed in 1979. The experience tells us that one can save 85% in heating, 30% in lightning, and 18-40% in building materials. As a side effect, tenants are not complaining and happy with the accommodation! The over-ground house costs you more in terms of material and space. As we all are familiar that a traditional house requires deep foundation, more space for heating installation and heating material. But a self heating ecological house is almost free from all these necessary vices! An ecological house has a stratum of soil; this soil shields the house from extremes of weather. They don’t get too cold during winters and too hot during summer. This soil layer also protects the walls of the house from wear and tear or erosion.

A self heating ecological house’s strength lays in reflecting surfaces i.e. surfaces that reflect direct and diffuse radiation of the Sun (around 80%). Glossy coats (of lacquer and paint), aluminum foils and metal sheets are used on hard surface for reflecting surfaces. Milk-white paint is also good enough for this purpose since there is not much diffusion loss because the reflecting surfaces are positioned next to the window. Special consideration is given to the reflecting surfaces. They are not only cost-effective and act as heating agent but they also increase the amount of sunlight entering the area. The Eco house in Novi Sad (Serbia), saves up to 30% in lightning. The upper reflecting surface is built into the eaves of the object and is fixed. The lower one is positioned under the window and acts as a shutter.

The greatest experience from living in a self heating ecological house can be peace of mind and a great feeling that you are living light on this planet! According to Aleksandar Nikolic, “The owners of self-heating solar sod houses or eco houses do not have to worry about the heating material, they are protected from noise and vibrations, which places this solution amongst best achievements in the world.”

Please visit the website for more information.

What do you think of this house concept?

  • Jos Conil

    There has been earth submerged houses before.This is something similar to that but for the fact that we don’t dig deep down for making this house. Rather the earth is dumped on it and it is given a plant cover.

    Definitely earth is a very good thermal insulator which can drastically improve the thermal properties of a dwelling place, but how does this house save on building materials? In fact, the type of impervious and strong structure needed for retaining that much earth on it is much costlier than a conventional block masonry wall. May be you can save on A/C costs, but definitely not on the materials. Also reflection of heat to the surroundings is not desirable for urban areas as it can contribute to the urban heat island effect.

    The need to cover almost three sides in soil imposes some rigid planning restrictions for these houses, which can be an impediment in tight urban sites as well as in climates which require cross ventilation.

  • Mark Genest

    Sustainable in technologies perhaps, in living space, I’ll have to disagree.

    How big is his house? One of the first principles of sustainability should be deciding just how much SPACE one needs to live a reasonable life. With the majority of the worlds population living in spaces less than 750 sq.ft., his is just a touch over, me thinks.

    Just because one is using sustainable techniques doesn’t mean it gives them carte blanche to grab more space for themselves. A sustainable mindset includes one of moderation, otherwise it is the same old consumption mentality (more is always more) packaged in a ‘green’ label.

  • Kenji Tatebe

    This seems more like a lesson in how our current insulation techniques and standards are really lacking, lets face it anytime you can simply bury a house and get such improvements in heating efficiency then we are clearly not doing enough in “modern” home construction.

    Perhaps more pressure should be put on governments to increase insulation requirements in building codes?

  • http://www.eduponder.com James

    The idea of living light on the earth is a great concept; I’m sure at least some of these concepts can be applied to our building techniques–especially in the face of an increasing need for conservation of our energies.

  • Nater

    Sod Housing is a process of making mud walled house with straw or any other insulator inside the clay walls. The clay keeps the weather off the straw and the straw keeps the house insulated. It is not dumping earth on a wooden or other supported structure, one can make a Sod house using very little wood as the walls can support themselves. The most consuming element in a Sod house is the time to make a clay walls. A family can make a house for themselves to live in comfortably with under 5000$. This article is meant to show that heating can be done so that most of it is retained or saved rather then escaping to the atmosphere.

  • Iv

    This is great! Like it


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