Hydrogen Town (Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan)
used on interior walls: Biocera
In this latest featured project we look at the Hydrogen Town Smart House, a model home in a residential area of Fukuoka’s Itoshima city.
Hydrogen Town was created as part of a social feasibility project involving the concentrated installation of residential hydrogen-powered fuel cell cogeneration systems (ENE-FARM) under the Fukuoka Hydrogen Strategy, a local government policy promoted by Fukuoka Prefecture and other organizations. The town is a “model city” comprised of 150 existing households in the Nanpudai and Misakigaoka areas of Itoshima city, Fukuoka Prefecture.
The Hydrogen Town Smart House is a two-story wooden house with a building area of approximately 66 m2 and a total floor area of approximately 125 m2. Opened in November 2011, the Hydrogen Town Smart House was built as a model home to promote the Fukuoka Hydrogen Town initiative by Heisei Co., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd., with the cooperation of Fukuoka Prefecture and Itoshima city.
Ground floor living room featuring Biocera SN-11
Heisei Co., a construction firm based in Itoshima city, Fukuoka Prefecture, has built wooden houses making full use of shirasu-based plaster products for interior and exterior walls and other natural materials in the past. The firm also used Biocera on the interior of this model home.
To improve the home’s energy efficiency, it is important that the building is slow to transmit the temperature of hot or cold outside air to the indoors and that it uses as little electricity as possible. Takachiho Shirasu’s Shirasu-kabe provides excellent insulation compared to common interior coverings like wallpaper, and also give superior humidity control and deodorizing performance. These properties reduce the need to run household appliances like air conditioners and air purifiers, helping residents to cut down on power usage.
Shirasu-kabe absorbs excess humidity in summer, allowing residents to turn up the thermostat on the air conditioning and even making the indoor temperature comfortable enough that air conditioning can be turned off overnight.
In winter, Shirasu-kabe gradually releases built-up moisture, and the porous shirasu forms a layer of air that improves heating efficiency.
Very little condensation occurs in rooms with Shirasu-kabe, enabling the creation of an environment that is not conducive to mold and dust mites, which prefer humidity. Rooms that do not have mold and dust mites, which can cause allergies and sick building syndrome, provide peace of mind for households with young children and elderly family members.
As building materials that create safe and comfortable indoor air environments, Shirasu-kabe products have attracted attention from various quarters and are used in facilities all around Japan.