In 2004/5 Barry while in the process of designing a new bespoke home was very aware of the new and ever increasing public introduction to climate change and the introduction of a rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The building industry was not prepared for these changes and many new types of build processes were being introduced to try and deal with this change to higher energy low carbon homes. It was as if we needed to change everything to do with traditional build to achieve these energy targets.
It was all a bit confusing and led to contradiction where a building type was matched with and unsuitable renewable energy source or vice-versa.
This was really the point when ZeroHome System was born.
The Mission at this time was to further research renewable energy options available and examine traditional and sustainable build methods with the aim of finding compatible combinations using up-graded building construction. Thermal Mass was also considered significant to any build approach.
Out of this research came a traditionally constructed home with higher insulation levels, cavity walls, concreted floors, heat recovery ventilation and Geo Thermal Heating via a ground source heat pump & 2 100m deep boreholes. Why not the house was sitting on deep bed-rock.
For the next few years as well as completing a variety of architectural buildings Barry was researching and developing an idea for an off-site constructed wall panel and this research took him to Germany and the USA.
In 2010 the opportunity arose to design a new Rectory using the ideals of the ZeroHome System.
The result was a circa 4,600ft2 traditionally built home incorporating modified detailing,high energy efficiency rating and incorporation of renewable energy system via an air-to-water source heat pump.The building received a “Low Carbon Rating” and attracted 2 years free rates but more importantly demonstrated that the imposition of high energy requirements did not need to adversely impact on the employer desired design characteristics and practicalities required for normal living.
However as proper induction of all trades throughout the build was crucial to achieving a “good standard of workmanship” leading to required “Performance Requirements” an A-Z induction process was put-in-place at the start of the job to create a “Single Mind-Set” approach to the build.
In 2013 the learning process build-up and the now successfully tested “Zerohome System” was fully incorporated into a bespoke 3,940ft2 dwelling. Using the A-Z single mind-set induction process the modified traditionally constructed home matched with renewable energies led to a “True Zero Carbon” rating.
What this project highlighted though was the importance of trade inductions and that “it doesn’t cost anymore to build it right”
The target now was to take all this learning and apply it to a small sized,simple and practical home with fuel poverty on the agenda.
The opportunity was given in 2013 to apply the ZeroHome System on a “Pilot Scheme” of two semi -detached 2-storey homes for sale with a zero carbon tag.
In early 2015 these homes were completed using the ZeroHome System and demonstrated that high energy efficiency, low running costs and future-proofing can be delivered affordably using modified traditional building integrated with carefully selected renewables.