This brilliant white house is a totally self-sufficient home on the island of Namhae in South Korea. Designed by Gangnam-based Lifethings, Sosoljip has an ultra efficient envelope and is powered by a rooftop photovoltaics and solar thermal system. It was designed for Dr. Jung Soik, a cultural curator and architectural educator who wanted a home that was economical, not vulnerable to changes in fuel supplies and could provide for her family at all times.
After living for years in Seoul, Dr. Jung Soik wanted to move to a remote country village on Namhae, but wanted her home to be self-sufficient in terms of energy use. So she and Lifethings designed a functional, net-zero energy home that met her family’s needs and for an affordable price. Sosoljip has three different areas: a work/live space for Dr. Soik where she sometimes holds workshops, a space for her parents, and a couple of extra bedrooms that are used for a Bed & Breakfast.
These rooms provide guest accommodations for family and friends who come to visit as well as for visitors to the area or students who come to learn from Dr. Soik. The home is built into the side of a hill with the main living quarters on the bottom floor. A rooftop garden above the guest quarters serves as a deck with a view and connects the two upper volumes. Dr. Soik’s quarters are on the top floor in a long mass that runs east and west.
To create the net zero house, first the structure was built to minimize energy loss through the envelope. The reinforced concrete building is wrapped in 20 cm of styrofoam insulation, which is then sprayed with Polyurea, a resilient and waterproof material, and then painted. Orientation and window placement aid in providing natural daylighting and ventilation. No air conditioning is needed in the summer and in the winter a wood-burning boiler provides heat. The south-facing roof features a 3 kW photovoltaic system along with a solar thermal hot water system. In the end, the 230 sq m (2,475 sq ft) house with four kitchens and four bathrooms was completed for only $US 284,000, which comes out to $115 per sq foot.
Images ©Kyungsub Shin