Home Design of the Future by Jacob

Grade 9 Academic Science Culminating Performance Task (CPT)

Part 1: Research

Section A: Sustainable Ecosystems

Biome & Green Environment Around the Home

My home will be located in the Lake Huron region which is a temperate deciduous forest biome having features including: higher temperatures than tundra or boreal forest, fertile soil, and precipitation up to 100 cm/year. It will be built high enough so I can enjoy the scenic view of Lake Huron and see the various indigenous and invasive trees and plants surrounding my home. Some, of many, indigenous trees and plants in this area include: White Ash tree (Fraxinus americana), Trembling Aspen tree (Populus tremuloides), Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonoifera), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina), White Birch tree (Betula payrifera), wild strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca) and Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Some examples of invasive plants in the area include: Garlic Mustard, Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) and Common Reed (Phragmites australis).

Vegetable Garden

In the backyard of my house, overlooking the lake, I would have a medium sized (10 x 10 metre) vegetable garden. My vegetable garden would consist of tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cabbage and cucumbers. The vegetables are indegnious to Canada, and grown outdoors, typically between the beginning of April and mid-June - which depends on the frost-free-periods to allow the vegetables to reach "days to maturity." The greenhouse will be used in the colder months. There will be a variety of fruit and vegetables grown here. I would have these vegetables because it would help my health by what foods I eat. Also it would save me a lot of money instead of buying food because I already have some in my garden.

No pesticides or fertilizers will be used as there are a number of environmental impacts, such as: killing species they were not intended to kill (known as: non-target specifies); the tendency for pesticides to accumulate in individual organisms (known as: bioamplification); some pest species become resistant to the pesticide (known as: pesticide resistance). The alternative to pesticides and fertilizers that I would use would be 'organic farming.' Ecological sustainable techniques involve: biological control (eg. predatory insects, mites, and disease-causing micro-organisms prey and infect prey species); altered timing (eg. avoid peak pest population); crop rotation and mixed planting (eg. pest populations do not have the same opportunity to establish and prosper); and baiting pest (eg. pheromone baits can be used to confuse some mating insects).

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Transportation in My Driveway

The transportation I would use and park in my drive way would be a Eco friendly hybrid car. I would pick this as my transportation because it is good to the environment making it more healthy. This type of car runs using a combination of electricity and gas. In a hybrid car, the car changes between using electricity and gas depending on the speed. The car has a battery which is charged and stores energy to use. The less amount of gas used helps limit the amount of fossil fuel used, and air pollution released into the environment. In a hybrid car, the car changes between using electricity and gas depending on the speed it is being driven at.

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Waste Management

I think of waste as material waste (landfill waste, recycling, and food/organic waste), as well as, air and water pollution.

For food waste, there will be composting on site for food waste. Food waste produces methane - a greenhouse gas. Composting exposes these materials to oxygen, preventing the release of methane, and producing a useful, rich soil that I can use in my garden and flower beds. The blue bins for recycled items will be located outside of the shed. These items will get picked up by our local waste company every 2 weeks.

As I have chosen a hybrid vehicle, this will reduce the car exhaust and ultimately reduce air pollution created. Also, I will make sure to buy local materials this way I am not relying on forestry and mining which creates pollutions. To limit water waste, I would limit the water I am using during showers and bathing. I will also set-up a rain-barrel to collect rain-water from the eaves trough to reuse, including watering my garden and plants.

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Endangered Species at Local Zoo

My family will sponsor the endangered Beluga Whale also known as the “sea canaries." The world population of Beluga Whales is estimated to be around 60,000 to 80,000. They are now an considered endangered species. Their existence is becoming less because of commercial whaling and disturbance by humans. Traditionally hunted for their blubber, they are also threatened by industrial development and pollution of coastal habitats. Global climate change is also an indentified threat which reduces the sea ice coverage. Therefore, eliminating or reducing the use of pesticides, and other contaminations, to water would help save the remaining whales and other water animals.

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Section B: Atoms, Elements, and Compounds

Chemicals in the Home

Toxic chemicals can be found in my home in different household products, furnishing and building materials which can be toxic to me or my pets. Home furnishings, including, some carpets, furniture, and curtains, are sometimes treated with chemicals that could be dangerous. Treated wood (used for decks and outdoor furniture), insulation, and particle board, are building materials that can be harmful to humans as they are treated with toxic chemicals. Household products include polish for furniture and floors, detergent and cleaning products - these contain chemicals such as chlorine, formaldehyde, ammonia, sulfuric acids, and more.
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One of the Chemicals

One of the chemicals is chlorine, which is symbolized by Cl on the periodic table and an atomic number of 17.

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Chemical Family

Chlorine is in the halogen family; after fluorine, it is the second lightest halogen.
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Metal, Non-Metal, or Metalloid?

Chlorine is a non-metal.
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Section C: The Characteristics of Electricity

Energy Source

The type of energy source I will use for my home is solar energy. Solar energy involves harnessing heat and light from the sun. I would have solar panels on the roof of my house absorbing sunlight to store and give my house energy. It is very sustainable because once you have the solar panels it is a never ending source of energy because the sun will always be giving light and heat which we can use. Future generations will have the sun as a renewable energy source.
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Physical Structures

To make my house more energy efficient I would make sure my walls and attic are well insulated. This would keep the warmth inside the house and the cold outside the house. I would also upgrade or replace windows; this would also keep the warmth in my house and keep the cold out. Another structure to make my house more energy efficient is replacing my old furnace with a new higher efficiency system furnace. The old furnace system would use more natural gas and the new one uses less natural gas. Lastly, a structure to make my home more energy efficient is to improve the hot water efficiency system. This would help my water to heat up faster and also use less energy and gas to do so.


The appliances that I would chose for my home would be a refrigerator and stove. These appliances would all be EnergyStar rated which is all high efficiency and use much less energy. I would not have appliances such as microwave, dishwater, and other non-essential appliances, as this uses a lot of energy that I can do by hand (eg. wash dishes in a sink of water and soap. Laundry and dryer machines will be programmed to perform on “off peak” hours and only when necessary; during the warm seasons, I will air-dry my clothes outdoors.

Light Bulbs

The type of light bulbs I would have for my house are LED. I would have these type of lightbulbs because they are energy efficient, and last longer. Compared to a incandescent light bulb, LEDs use less power - 6-8 watts instead of 60 watts. Also, LEDs do not contain toxic mercury unlike Compact Fluorescents (CFLs).

Section D: The Study of the Universe


Two types of technology that have been developed due to space exploration that I will include in my home are: Solar panels (Greenliving) and Gas analyzer (Improved Air Quality).

Greenliving - first developed by Nasa in the early 1980s, efficient solar-power technologies - in which silicon crystals grown in a laboratory convert light into electrical energy.

Improved Air Quality - An air-quality monitoring system was created based on a Nasa scheme. The monitor can analyze the gases coming from chimneys and determine the amount of individual gases present, helping to ensure that buildings meet emission standards.

The Greenliving will support my 'green' house with utilizing solar energy. The Improved Air Quality will monitor the gas when I have my chimney on to heat me during the cold weather.

Part 2: Home Design

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