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Freezer panel home build Answered

Some time ago I was approached by an old friend who got very lucky money wise.
He wanted to build a really energy efficient house for himself - in terms of being well insulated.
Should be easy to build as well he said...
So with a few beer we got together one day and tried to figure out what options are available that the usual building companies won't or can't offer.

Quite soo we realised that freezer panels seem to be the ideal solution.
Sturdy, ralatively high load rating and additional supports, mounts and all are readily available.
Funny enough there are even the right thicknesses available to be a perfect match for EU style tripple glazed windows and well insulated outside doors.
And as always the initial euphoria meant we totally went over board here.
Getting dimensions for selected doors and windows, calculating how many freezer panels are required to make the outside walls and roof...
Even starting on 3D models to design the whole thing.
Needless to say the dreams ended with an equiry at the council for a building permit for the dream home.
Turns out that despite proper ratings on overthing a house can not be built with freezer panels for walls.
Only bricks, wooden/steel frames and approved building materials...

Either way we kept going as a theoretical game for the hope in a few years regulations around here might change.
And you might be lucky to have your property somewhere with no such stupid regulations.
One of the biggest problems we realised such a well insulated home would have is moisture and fresh air.
Possible solution here is to use a heat exchange system for basically everything inside and outside the house.
Options for this already exist for purchase and installation so nothing would need to be designed or developed from scratch.
These system combine airconditioner, heating, hot water and air exchange in a quite compact unit size.
The required ducting is a different problem though that should be included in the early design stages already.
Solar panels double up as additional heat shields so to say and with enough roof space left it could be turned into a green and living roof to help with the carbon footprint and inside temperatures during the summer.
So far for the easy part...

All this would be impossible without home automation and integration.
Sensors monitor conditions, a computer system decides on the right operating parameters and allows for user adjustments.
Home automation isn't a new thing either, so called smart-homes are already in the portfolio of most good builder out there - at a price though.
Using this technology to our advantage means the smart part now doubles up for the required input and sensor data.
For a smaller home you would ideall opt for a rotating home that follows the sun...
For a really big home you would aim for enough solar and wind power to make it self sustaining...
Battery technology is on our side here and using Li-Ion tech is almost affordable as old style lead-acid batteries for this purpose.

So why are there only so few people going this route?
Would be very easy to create freezer panel styles that look like wood or bricks to be conform with local appearence...
The real problem seems to be that it violates what we are used to.
For starters it would be hard to explain why you should live in a big fridge with windows.
The next problem is that such homes would be very easy and quick to build.
You select your style and design features, pay for it and production starts.
In time for the finnished foundations, plumbing and such the parts arrive and come together in a day or two.
Connections are finalised and can move in within a week of commencing to build the actual house.
Thausands of tradies would be jobless if this would be the general way to build new homes.
Same for all those companies that currently supply the standard building materials, frames, roof tiles and such...
Just imagine a tornado just turned your home into dust.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to move into a new one within a few weeks instead of months?
Even better if the new one would still be mostly unharmed after the next tornado....
Living in a possible flood zone?
Nothing easier than to add some barriers for doors if the house is fully sealed otherwise...
Stay dry while the water is right under your window, just don't open the door...
In other parts of the world so called kit-homes are already widely available but mostly only in mild climates.
The benefit of using freezer style panel for homes in desert or cold climates seems to obvious though.
Same for possible disaster zones like tornado alley.
Is it time to re-think how we define a home?


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