Easy insulation repair to address growing empty property problems

Proposal by Waseda University and Shibaura Institute of Technology at the 2017 ENEMANE House Initiative

A model house designed and built by a team comprised of mainly students and faculty from Waseda University and Shibaura Institute of Technology for the 2017 ENEMANE House Initiative will be on display at Umekita Southern Park in Osaka City from December 2 to 17.

The ENEMANE House Initiative was established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) in 2013 so that university students could design an original zero-energy house and built its model using cutting-edge technology, contriving new ways of living together with cooperating companies. Previously having won awards, both Waseda University and Shibaura Institute of Technology mark their third consecutive entry and will be the first universities to collaborate as a team.

The theme of the team’s house this year is “In this Corner of the Suburbs: The 80-Year Old Story of My House and Me.” There are approximately 2,320,000 empty houses nationwide, and the team’s model house was intended to address growing problems related to empty property across the country. They redesigned an industrialized house, which many of them were built in the 1970s, and were able to achieve zero energy without altering the existing structures by installing highly insulated walls and implementing as well as operating facility devices in the most effective ways.

To be specific, the highly insulated walls were installed inside the existing structure, creating a buffer space that became a covered exterior gallery. This made thermal and lighting environment control possible while taking in natural energy. Furthermore, the team also improved energy conservation and comfort by devising facilities popular on the market in the model house, such as a wall-mounted air conditioning unit, under-floor chamber air conditioning that uses phase-change material (PCM), and heat-collecting hot water system. Their ultimate plan is to design long-lasting housing which people could continue to live in, well into the future.

Team member Nana Araki from Shibaura Institute of Technology said that, “As we were the first collaborating team, there was a lot to learn from each other. For example, even for the same environment simulation, we were using complete different software. It became a great opportunity to listen to different opinions.”

Details of ENEMANE House 2017

  • On display from 10:00 – 16:30, December 2 – 17 (13:30 – 16:30 on December 2 and 16, 10:00 – 14:00 on December 17)
  • Place: Umekita Southern Park in Osaka City
  • Participating schools: Waseda University/Shibaura Institute of Technology, Kinki University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Kyoto University, Mukogawa Women’s University

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