Research Project - Benefits of Ecosystem in Residential Buildings

Genesis Research Project to Insert Ecosystem in Archetype HouseArchetype House, Kortright Centre, NRCA

Status: Pending Funding.

Genesis Eco Fund proposes to put a PeapodLife self-contained high-order ecosystem in the Archetype House at the Kortright Centre for the purpose of determining the impact of the ecosystem on indoor air quality and energy consumption. The research will be carried out under the supervision of Genesis working in conjunction with Seneca College (tentative Academic Institutional Partner).

Three-Phased approach proposed:

1. Real-time air-quality monitoring 24/7 via sensors and computer program with normal HVAC operation i.e. outside ventilation as per current practice. Prior to ecosystem.
Goal: determine baseline air quality performance of Archetype House “BEFORE” ecosystem. Duration: 3-6 weeks.

2. Real-time air-quality monitoring 24/7 via sensors and computer program with normal HVAC operation i.e. outside ventilation as per current practice.
Goal: determine baseline air quality performance of ecosystem. Benefits: quick deployment, simple installation, allows ecosystem to acclimatize to environment and adapt for optimal harmonization. Duration: 6-12 weeks.

3.  Real-time air-quality monitoring 24/7 via sensors and computer program connected to HVAC system with ability to open/close outside ventilation (preferably automatically based on specific metrics and operational parameters, to be determined).  Monitor energy use. Compare performance with previous years.
Goal: determine air quality performance of ecosystem and energy performance of Archetype House when air-quality monitoring system is given control of HVAC, especially outside ventilation. Duration: 6-12 weeks (longer if necessary).

Repeat Phases 1-3 in other half of Archetype House (if possible, to compare air quality performance enhancement in “current” and “future” best practice technologies).

Material Contributions:

Genesis Eco Fund will provide an ecosystem, courtesy of PeapodLife (a $40K value).  Installation will be handled by PeapodLife’s parent company, Wo-Built, Inc.

Funding Required for Additional Materials and Resources as per Kortright Centre, including materials (i.e. sensors, computers and other equipment) required for research.

Benefits for Archetype House; Kortright Centre; Academic Partner; Government of Ontario:

  • PeapodLife Rainforest Living Wall Ecosystems are a one-of-a-kind Canadian technology which will add a new “wow factor” to the Archetype House, and a potentially a new educational element to the Kortright Centre (“we’re researching the benefits of letting nature back into our homes”).

  • “State of the art” Building Technology is given a whole new meaning if the ecosystem can be shown to significantly improve on issues related to energy loss and Sick Building Syndrome.
  • “Show & Tell” with visitors of the Kortright Centre or members of BILD.  The Archetype House can renew its pivotal role in the research into and education of best practices in sustainable building, with an approach that is uniquely suited to the Kortright Centre’s  ecological roots.
  • A Unique Research Opportunity opens the door on an exciting new frontier in “Advanced Human Habitat” for Academic Institution(s) focusing on practical solutions to air quality and energy, water and food security. Not to mention the socio-psychological-culture impacts of living with nature in modernity.  Initial focus is on air quality and energy savings, important issues with major ramifications at the Provincial Governmental level (healthcare & energy).