Early on we commissioned Arup to undertake a feasibility into minimising the Carbon footprint (how much Carbon dioxide is produced in heating, lighting etc) of the house. Working closely with them on the early design stages allowed us to test various options to improve the configuration of the house to benefit from passive solar gain (winter sun heating the house) and to minimise heat losses.
The Passive systems we adopted are:
A) Highly insulating the building fabric to minimise wastage of any heat put in to heat the house.
B) Orientating the living spaces of the house to the South to benefit from passive warming from the sun.
In order to further reduce the Carbon footprint we looked at various Active systems:
A) Ground coupled heat pump heating underfloor heating
B) Solar thermal heating
C) Photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity
D) Domestic wind turbine to generate electricity
E) Low energy lighting to minimise electrictal load.
F) Rainwater harvesting
After looking at the comparative benefits of each, A), C) and E) offered the largest reduction in combination. I’ll detail what, why and how much in my next posting……