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Design of “Tibet High Plains Energy-saving House at the Foot of Mt. Everest” Featuring DuPont™ Tyvek® and Energain® Materials 

    On Jun 6th, People’s Daily, China’s No.1 official newspaper, published pictures taken from the inauguration ceremony of the “Tibet Energy-saving house” in its headline.  This picture shows volunteers helping install the last piece of an Energain® panel in the energy-saving demo house at the foot of Mt. Everest.  

    The demo house was the outcome of the “DuPont Living Improvement Project” under “Mt. Everest Action”, which leverages DuPont technologies to improve the living conditions of local residents in Tibet high plains area, while preserving natural resources.

    “Mt. Everest Action” is an environmental initiative focused on the Mt. Everest area and jointly organized by governmental agencies and volunteer groups.

    DuPont China became a strategic partner in 2008, based on the Building Innovations vision to enable sustainable building materials and practices.  DuPont brings a fresh theme to the Action, “Sustainability through Science and Technology.” Under this concept, a science exploration team comprised of volunteers with technology and science backgrounds have made 2 trips to the Mt. Everest area to conduct field research to understand local ecological conditions and residents’ needs to explore sustainable solutions to improve local living conditions.

    Based on the data collected by the project team, along with joint efforts of Beijing-based state-level building technology institutes and DuPont Building Innovations, a design of the “energy-saving building for high plains regions” was completed.  The new house, in traditional Tibetan building style, has stronger wind shielding and heat retaining capabilities, while reducing local residents’ consumption of natural resources for heating purposes.  Most of construction materials are local, but modified design and selected DuPont materials like Tyvek®, Energain® and TiO2 PVC frame greatly improve the energy gain, energy storage and energy saving of the house without significantly increasing the building cost. Already, the residents of the house have expressed that it felt much warmer on snowy days than traditional houses.

    The demo house has attracted attention from the local government who wants to promote effective low cost energy-efficient building. DuPont will help build another set of demo houses along Qinghai Lake in Aug and help draft local energy efficient building code.