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By : Ken-ichi Ishida

Japan signed the Kyoto Protocol to reduce the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 6% below the 1990 level. The housing industry is no exception being required to reduce the negative impact of the housing delivery on the environment. Today, all newly-constructed detached houses being built by Sekisui House Ltd. are designed to alleviate the societal pressure, accompanied basically with the following techniques and/or technologies: (1) the reduction of energy use relating to air-conditioning by improving the houses' insulation performance to meet Japan's energy saving standard set in 1999, as well as ventilation by making use of a passive ventilation system driven by stack effect; (2) the reduction of energy consumption that derives from domestic hot water by applying a high-efficient water heater, where the system performance is improved from 80% to 95% of the efficiency-today, Japanese housing manufacturers also tend to promote the installation of a gas engine cogeneration system and air-source heat pump water heater in housing; (3) the micro-power generation by the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation system; and (4) the cooling effect achieved by tree shading, which helps lower the ambient temperature around buildings during the summer. The company's 'Action Plan 20' reflects the global warming prevention (or CO2 emission reduction) strategy, considered to be effective in the delivery of low-carbon housing in Japan.
Keywords : Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction, Photovoltaics, Water Heater, Thermal Insulation, Tree Shade Effect.

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