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Meet the Indian-American who has devised an eco-friendly method to tackle the snow menace

Think Change India
31st Jan 2016
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An Indian-American engineer along with his son has developed a unique system which automatically cools the air as well as melts the snow using sun light and natural air, a media report has said. Raj Parikh, who has been living at his radically redesigned house in Paramus city in the US state of New Jersey since 1980, has no furnace in his home, no air conditioner and no hot water heater but the home has the ability to melt the snow right off the driveway.

Representational Image; Source - Shutterstock
Representational Image; Source – Shutterstock

“There’s no combustion in this system. It’s just the earth and the sun,” Raj’s son Asit was quoted as saying by nj.com news site yesterday. Raj, CEO and chairman of the Metroplitan Building and Consulting Group of New York, and Asit, a New York City real estate broker, undertook a massive redesign of their Henry Street home in 2011 to create the greenest house in town, heated and cooled entirely by the sun and the earth.

The house is nearly complete, and the systems used to warm the driveway and walkways are clearly up and running. The Parikhs have designed a system that warms water to about 100 degrees using solar collectors and geothermal pumps. That water is piped underneath the driveway and walkways.

They use the sun and the ground to heat and cool the house as well. During the winter, the house intakes air warmed by the sun and carries it 12 feet underground to be heated by the ground before piping it inside. The incoming air is also heated by exhaust air coming from the kitchen and bathroom. To cool the house, the air takes the same route, only it skips the solar collectors, as reported by PTI.

The house also has systems to collect rainwater and the very snow it melts during winter storms. Asit said he’s often asked if the various systems in the house are expensive but in reality, they save money. “I don’t know if you’ve met my folks but they don’t waste money. We’re sitting on the same couches and dining table we had 20 years ago,” Asit said. The Parikhs hope to finish construction on the house by Earth Day on April 22 and plan to invite students to tour the house as an example of green building.

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