2008-03-14

Iide-Town in Yamagata-Prefecture

March 13 traveled to Iide-Town in Yamagata-Prefecture, the birthplace of sustainable rural planning in Japan. My advising professor is Itonaga-sensei. Itonaga-sensei’s professor, Aoki-sensei, began working with Iide-Town over 30 years ago. Yamagata-Prefecture is located in rural, northern Japan and receives significant snow fall. This is a photo of a traditional two-story thatched roof house, where in winter it is not uncommon to exit the home from the second story.
Maeno-san, a doctorial student who graduates this March has taken a duel position working with the Iide town government and post-doc at Nihon University. His doctorial research dealt with developing sustainable local community energy systems utilizing mainly biomass. We visited a demonstration “green” home in Iide which utilizes radiant floor heating and a pellet boiler. Adjacent to the home is an insulated “ice house” where packed snow and perishable goods are stored. Within the ice house is a “cold exchange” coil which connects to the home’s radiant floor piping, and in summer can act as an air conditioning system.

This is an insulated storage facility, divided roughly in half, and located adjacent to several large greenhouses. Snow is packed in one half the building while perishable goods are stored in the other half. This eliminates the need for summer refrigeration.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Interesting. I would have never thought about using snow to keep food cool over the summer.