These were the design concepts that I considered:-
- Very low energy use, lower than a Passive House or Code 6 Code for Sustainable Homes.
- Maximise solar contribution to water heating using the inevitably excess of heated water to charge up an interseasonal thermal store
- Build tight and ventilate right
- Heavyweight construction – maximise the ability to store solar gains and minimise temperature fluctuations
- High comfort – very low energy demand
- Triple glazed windows
- Mitigation of thermal bridging by design
- Nuts and bolts
Continue reading Philosophy, ideals and research
This is based on ideas from Drakes Landing Solar Community .
Before starting to build I drilled five200mm 9m deep boreholes on the site, two of these are for my interseasonal thermal storage. These are approximately central under each half of the house. On digging out the basement we were careful not to damage the pipes loaded into and grouted and managed to carefully re route them to in line with the central basement wall. These pipes now transpoer warm and hot water down under the house to a depth of 6.5m below the basement floor.
Continue reading Interseasonal Thermal Storage
My sister very kindly did this for me mainly to satisfy the planners. We did point out to them that if a plant died it was most likely due to it being unhappy and so it should not be replaced like for like but with something similar.
Ventilation is very important and most of the housing stock in the UK relies to a greater or lesser extent on incidental draughts for ventilation. We know that my house is very air tight so it will need ventilation. I designed in a passive house type ventilation system, a Genvex, one of the better systems. This is fully ducted using rigid ducting, 200, 150 and 125mm in diameter and each room has either an inlet or extract terminal or both.
Ventilation rates are still open to question and some claim that 25m3/person/hr is required. We find that as there is a fully mixed large volume of air in the house we can live with less than 40% of that between us with no perceivable loss in freshness. We can control the fan speeds in one percent increments from 10% to 100% generally we run at between 35% and 45% with higher rates immediately after showering or when family are visiting.
The higher the ventilation rate the bigger the heat losses are and ventilation heat losses are my biggest losses even though I have a very efficient heat recovery system.
Read more of my pre-build advice on ventilation Continue reading Ventilation
A lot of care was taken to avoid thermal bridging by designing them out, reference was made to Passive House design guidance and careful thought given to the detailing during the build
See more sketches and pictures that help explain Continue reading Mitigation of Thermal Bridging