As we set out at the start of our recently completed project we reviewed our aspirations. What lessons could we can draw from our new approach.
Our goals where simple.
- To achieve a Zero Carbon or at least an “A-Rated” home the design can be traditional, both inside and out, allowing it to harmonise with the local vernacular
- That using sustainable and current technology a Code 5 house fabric can easily be achieved with “whole-of-life” benefits and with the integration of a simple renewable technology a Zero Carbon house can be achieved at an affordable cost. This is the solution to “household fuel poverty” and “self-sufficiency” in mainstream social housing.
- That maximising “self-sufficiency” through good design can be achieved
- To demonstrate design required to consistently reach an air tightness of 1-1.25 essential for future builds
- Optimising overall efficiency of the house through better and practical insulation methods, reducing heat loss and running costs
- Incorporating renewables that are of max benefit in zero carbon homes, which are relevant, practical and cost effective
- That Zero Carbon/A-Rated homes built with concrete and masonry can use existing construction methods and skills with a simple renewable energy strategy
- That the local supply chain, short lead times and flexible programme offered by concrete and masonry construction continue to be a key benefit
- That products do not always do “what they say on the tin” and that the designer must carefully consider a products suitability
- That all involved in a project from patron to tradesmen to end users must be inducted into the modified and improved construction techniques, materials specified and best management procedures.
- That the universal energy conscious “mind-set” of each tradesman on the project is shared by all tradesmen and that a “trade respect” is instilled from the start
- That with an awareness of improved building standard a home can be affordable, comfortable and costing little or nothing to heat