Hello, my name is Tim, and I’m going to give you a tour of the Orchid House today.
The Orchid House designed by the students of National Chiao Tung University from Taiwan, is an urban dwelling. Taiwan, as all of you might know, is an small island located in south east Asia, the climate is pretty hot and humid, and it rains a lot during the typhoon and monsoon seasons. Also, our population density is extremely high, our island is slightly larger than Belgium, put our population is even higher than Australia’s, and most of the citizens have lived in cities.
|(Source: Leslie Air via Flickr, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)|
Due to the terrible high urban density, people build up metal sheet cabins on our rooftops, in order to gain extra living space. However, the cabin has its problems. The metal structure locks all the heat indoors during summer, making the inside even hotter than the outside; most people switch on their air-conditioner to cool the house down, but that’s not sustainable at all. Also, it might leak when it rains, because of bad construction, and it’s too weak to stand the storms; not to mention that it is illegal.
As you can see, the cabin is not a really good choice for living, but because of the rising price of urban houses, these are probably the only housings that the younger generations can afford. That’s why we come up with the plan of the Orchid House.
Why Orchid House? As you might ask. It has three reasons. First, Taiwan is the second largest exporter of orchids. Second, orchids represent elegance, and that’s how we want the lives in there to be. Third, the house took the living strategy of orchids, which flourish on high treetops and absorbs non-direct sunlight and running off rainwater. You’ll see how the strategies were practiced, later when I introduce the facilities.
Now let’s enter the living area of the house. The first part you see is the kitchen, and now please admire the furniture. Guess what, they are made by prisoners, Taiwan have been encouraging our prisoners to learn new skills, helping them to prepare for their future life.
|(Source: Solar Decathlon-Orchid House 臉書)|
You might notice the wall behind. It’s called the thermal mass, which are basically bottles filled with water, it traps the energy from the sun and blocks the heat outdoor in the day, so it could be cool indoor. Later it releases the heat at night, so it warms up the house in cold nights. All the bottles on the wall are 100％ recycled, so they’re perfectly sustainable.
您可能注意到身後的這片牆。這就是所謂的Thermal Mass (蓄熱牆，蓄積熱質量的建築外殼建材)，基本上就是寶特瓶裝滿水，用來捕獲來自太陽的能量，也阻擋了白天戶外的炎熱，讓室內保持涼爽。晚上它會釋放出熱氣，在寒冷的夜裡溫暖房屋。牆上這批瓶子都是100％回收再利用，所以相當永續。
Over here is a computer, it is connected all the systems and sensors, and shows and controls all the conditions of your living place automatically. It is such a smart brain isn’t it? With this we could make sure the all the water and energy is used efficiently.
|(Source: Solar Decathlon-Orchid House 臉書)|
The following part is my favorite of the Orchid House. Welcome to the tea terrace! This is where the habitats could chat, play chess or enjoy their tea . What you see next to it is the lungs of Orchid House – the green core. It’s a wall filled with a variety of vegetation, including orchids, we uses this to clean up and cool down the air interior, while it also displays the biodiversity in the forests of Taiwan. There’s a interesting information about the plants here, most plants absorbs the most carbon dioxide in day, but orchids are opposite. So the temperature could be balanced either in the day or at night.
接下來是我最喜歡的區域，歡迎來到飲茶室！這裡是房客能夠聊天，下棋或品茶的所在。旁邊則是蘭花屋的肺 ─ 綠核。這是一片擁有多種植物的植生牆，蘭花即是其中一種。我們以綠核清潔與冷卻室內空氣，其實這也展現著台灣森林的生物多樣性。這裡有個關於植物的有趣資訊，大多植物會在白天吸收較多的二氧化碳，但蘭花反而在夜間吸收較多二氧化碳。因此，不管在白天或夜晚，室內溫度可以調節平衡。
Now if you look above your head, there are some “cells” on our roof right? Those are the invention of our students, named “Smart-skin”. A smart-skin is triggered by a piece of spring that shrinks or expands according to the heat from sunlight. The size of the hole in the middle changes, so that the amount of direct sunlight coming in could be controlled.
So before we leave, I want to summarize this project in three keywords: Green Core, which represents how we want to make the city more sustainable; Blue Sky, which refers to our plan of getting rid of the bad impression on illegal sheet-metal structures and cleaning the city skyline; and Power House, which not only refers to the capture of solar energy, but also represents our hopes that our House will be the gamechanger in the future of Taiwan.
在離開蘭花屋之前，我想總結三個關鍵字：「綠核」(Green Core)，顯示出我們如何讓城市更加永續；「藍天」(Blue Sky)，這裡說的是我們計畫擺脫非法鐵皮屋，的壞印象，革新天際線；「能源屋」(Power House)，不僅指的是捕捉陽光作為能源，也代表著這棟蘭花屋將能在未來的台灣，扭轉遊戲規則。
This is all about the Orchid House. I wish this project has remind you that what environmentally friendly and sustainability are; and I hope that it inspires you that they could actually be easily practiced in daily life. Everyone of you could be the game changer of our world, and I will look forward to that.
《太陽能建築世界盃 十項全能綠色競賽》1-July-2014 低碳生活部落格
《當頂樓加蓋 成為綠建築符碼》23-Dec-2013 低碳生活部落格