Celebre Home Innovations: Buffer Area - Homes Across America Search Return

Celebre Home




Goals of Innovation: To maintain an even and comfortable temperature within the home year around with minimal mechanical means.

Description: Alice Celebre is an energy auditor and consultant who has inspected many New Jersey homes over the years. Many homeowners have complained to her about how uncomfortable the northwest room of their home is. It is usually the coldest room in the home in winter and overheats in the summer, as the sun sets north of west during the hottest part of the year.

Conversely, the northwest area is an efficient place to put a carport, garage, or other climactic buffer that is an unconditioned space (an area that protects the home from actual outside temperatures). Doing so, allows two seasonal climate problems to be solved at the same time.

The Celebres decided to create a portico on the northwest part of their home and design it to be a climatic buffer area. An attached garage protects the rest of the home from the winter's northwest winds. By considering seasonal summer breezes, the portico/garage design creates a venturi effect, which is what happens when the wind increases velocity due to a constricted flow. This sends cooling breezes through the home on mild and warmer days. In the winter, exterior and garage doors can be shut to create a buffer for the home from cold west and north winds.

Obstacles: There were no obstacles to completing the buffer area. The Celebres report that they created the desired dual effect in a way that works even better than they had anticipated.

Cost Information: The only "cost" would be the extra planning to help assure proper orientation of the home and buffer components to achieve its goal. Although there was no extra cost to the Celebres, as Alice already had the proper knowledge, another home owner might want to invest in extra planning costs upfront, as they would reduce home operating costs in the future.

Additional Benefits/Drawbacks: The cool breezes through the home during warm weather are more welcome than expected. Doors and operable windows help regulate them to keep them from being too strong. The portico can also serve as a sheltered outdoor area for summer activities.

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