What makes an Asumma home a sustainable home?

Renewable energy, a massive wood structure, and a life cycle assessment all allow Asumma to limit its carbon footprint.

Asumma Homes approaches sustainability in housebuilding holistically, considering the impacts of each stage of the homebuilding process. As such, we prioritize renewables, sustainable materials, and life cycle assessment to ensure we are meeting our commitment to moving the construction industry toward carbon emissions reduction.

The power of renewable energy in your Asumma home

Energy use has a significant impact on the environment — but renewable energy can help curb this by lowering CO2 emissions. Renewable energy is generated from naturally recurring processes via sources that are consistently replenished. We address renewables in a variety of features in our homes.

For example, Asumma homes can be constructed with active solar design —  making use of solar renewable energy, via electric conversion through the use of photovoltaic panels. These panels produce electricity more efficiently in lower temperatures — the effectiveness of the panels peaks at 25°C —  making them ideal for climates with cooler summers, as in Northern Europe. We also take advantage of as many passive energy sources as possible. One example of passive energy generation is our passive solar design, created by the triple-glazed windows of our homes. Windows trap heat in the home, creating thermal insulation and a stable temperature in winter.

Another example of renewable energy in your Asumma home is the ground source heat pump (GSHP), a renewable source of energy that harnesses solar energy stored in the top layers of the earth. A GSHP is most efficiently used in combination with a water-based heat-delivery system. Our hydronic floor heating design further supports this system. Hydronic floor heating does not require temperatures as high as more conventional wall-mounted radiators, thereby resulting in increased energy savings.

Ultimately, Asumma builds homes that operate as energy-efficient systems. They can, to a large extent, act as self-sufficient buildings that only minimally rely on grid-produced renewable energy when needed. 

Houses built from wood

The cross-laminated timber (CLT) used in Asumma homes is harvested from sustainably managed, PEFC-certified Finnish forests, which are considered a renewable resource. Trees sequester CO2 — and the sequestered CO2 remains stored in the timber that is manufactured into CLT. It is stored as long as CLT building exists, and even after that, if the CLT is re-used. This sequestration persists over decades and even hundreds of years. Further, the manufacturing process of CLT emits less CO2 and consumes less fossil fuels, than other building materials, such as concrete or steel.

Interestingly, one lifecycle pathway for CLT is that it can be reused for future projects, thus extending its carbon sequestration contribution to the environment. Residential life cycle assessments have proved that the use of CLT as a structure’s primary building material can reduce its global warming potential by up to 65%, according to Hafner and Schafer. This is but one reason why Asumma precision-engineers its homes from CLT, sometimes referred to as massive wood.

While CLT massive wood is a hallmark of the Asumma design, many other considerations contribute to its sustainability strategy. 

Life cycle assessment indicates that Asumma homes are carbon-negative

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method of evaluating environmental impact. Asumma takes into account the whole life cycle of its homes — from production to transport, construction, operation, end of life, as well as its future final recovery, recycling and reuse. With insights into the full building lifecycle, we aim to design buildings as closed energy systems — and external audit indicates that the life cycle of an Asumma home is, in fact, carbon negative. Carbon dioxide is the leading cause of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon negative is a term that means removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than is emitted.

We adhere to lean design and production in order to minimize waste and materials use. Further, we carefully select the material suppliers for our homes to understand the materials’ life cycle assessment, responsible sourcing, and local sourcing — all of which supports your Asumma home’s indirect emissions reduction potential. 

Once you are living in your Asumma home, its bioclimatic design (a word that combines ‘biology’ and ‘climate’) helps the building adapt to its local climate to minimize energy expenditure and resources used, avoid leaks and waste, leverage natural ventilation and daylight energy, as well as passive heating and cooling. Your Asumma home’s ventilation strategy ensures minimal energy loss, via an air-tight building with calculated air-change, with further energy savings from our heat recovery systems. 

These strategies, among others, result in an overall carbon-neutral, and potentially even carbon-negative home — from materials, to construction, to use.

Are you interested in building a new house on your plot?  Learn about Asumma's carbon-neutral, timber design homes here.

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