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Monday, October 10, 2011

Eco Houses Under Construction - Event 5

The 5th event in the series will take place on Saturday 12th November, 2-5pm.

This is a rare opportunity to visit the UK's first Zero Carbon Barn Conversion, just down the road in East Leake. The developer (and owner) of this home is David Hill, who previously developed the UK's first Code 6 new build Zero Carbon homes in Upton, Northampton. He is now director of Carbon Legacy Ltd.

Although not still "under construction", this house has the advantage of 3 years' energy data post completion, showing that the approach taken has worked.

(For anyone who attended the series of Eco House Seminars which we ran this time last year, you may remember that David presented a talk on low energy refurbishment, and also contributed to the seminar on renewable energy for homes.)

For more information or to book your place on this free event, email Tina on

Here is David's summary of the house:

·         Super insulated 9” solid brick walls
·         Factory made Insulated roof panels (SIPS)
·         Super insulated floor slab with wet under floor heating (ground and first floor)
·         Extensive use of thermal mass in floors, internal walls and ceiling
·         Whole house ventilation with heat recovery 90% efficiency
·         Triple glazed timber windows with aluminium outer skin (Rationel)
·         Draft lobby with highly insulated doors (Rationel)
·         Air tight construction with measured value of 2.3m3/m2@50Pa pressure
·         Thermal store fed by oversized Solar Hot water panels and heat pump for space heating and domestic hot water

·         10kwp Solar PV system installed in December which should make us carbon neutral in energy use. Half of the system also feeds a new type of inverter (Nedap Powerrouter). This will do 5 important tasks: Send power to the house as it is required, when the house does not need the power divert it to a large battery store, in the evening when the house is calling for electricity turn the battery power into AC and send it to the house, during the day if the house does not need power and the batteries are fully charged then export power to the grid, should the Mains Grid supply fail then the unit will continue to feed converted power from the batteries into the house independently.

·         Ground sourced heat Pump (GSHP) providing space heating and some of the domestic hot water
·         Experimental Sunbox providing Earth charging energy from solar and ambient air to improve the efficiency of the GSHP
·         Rain water recycling from underground tank to provide water for toilet flushing and garden irrigation
·         Presence and daylight sensor light control in common areas of the house
·         100% low energy lighting and low energy appliances
·         Planning permission and foundation pad for a 10-15kw VAWT wind turbine for when I find one that works!
·         Reserve wood pellet 5kw stove in case of power failure

Interesting facts/results:
·         It works!
·         It has met its target energy consumption with 3 years’ worth of all power consumption (electricity) 10,500kwh/year
·         If we had the 10kw wind turbine (long story) or when we install the 10kw or bigger Solar PV installation then the house will generate as much or more power than it consumes.
·         It may also provide free electricity to charge 2 electric cars the first of which is due to arrive in 2012
·         The family loves it because it is comfortable and pleasant to live in all year round

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