Attention all HA’S and Councils
Nick Gander and Rod Davies of Energy Carbon tackle some common concerns when preparing low-income housing ready for the future.
We live in a rapidly changing world with exciting changes in the UK impacting what we are able to supply for low-income families for their new homes.
The home needs to be ‘green’ and have low embodied carbon. It needs to have zero energy bills and should have little to no ongoing maintenance costs. It must also meet all the government’s targets for 2050, and beyond. But what does this all actually mean?
Above: 3 storey brick render town house
Let’s look at what to expect from these homes:
• Building Energy Rating (BER) - The home needs to be ‘A’ rated as this gives assurances as to the level of insulation, the performance of the fabric of the building and therefore the reduction of living costs.
• Maintenance - should be minimal with no ongoing yearly visits, requiring no highly trained engineers.
• Avoid future large budgets - when you need to replace boilers/heat pumps after the 15-year life expectancy.
• Trained engineers - to reduce future costs, let’s stick to standard tradesmen like an electrician or plumber - and avoid highly trained heating engineers.
• The building - modular builds can be delivered as turnkey homes, ready to move into on the same day. Built in a factory enables high quality control, while in turn reducing embodied carbon. Simply have one unit for a bungalow, two for a house and three for a town house and so on.
• Low Energy Heating - with the advancements in Far-Infrared heating from Germany, solutions are now available for low wattage, zone control, full house comfort heating with a 50+ year design life. Using F.I.R will avoid all the issues associated with traditional heating and free up wall space.
• Air tightness - with the advancement of air tightness in a building, the use of MVHR Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery is a must to avoid ‘sick building syndrome’ and to give the best air quality to the occupants.
• PV and battery storage - choose a smart system from a name you can trust that includes 30 years of performance guarantees.
• Hot Water - choose a smart system that learns what the family needs and only heats the water that is required.
• Waste Water Heat Recovery (WWHRS) for showers and baths is a completely passive technology, shower heat recovery will gain enviable energy and CO2 savings every time the shower is used, without the user even knowing it’s doing so.
• Smart Lighting - using smart LED lighting can make all the difference when it comes to the correct lighting and reducing energy costs.
• Safety and concerns - avoid hot surfaces, use low voltage lighting and heating, concrete floors to avoid noise pollution and water ingress from the neighbours, a reduction to vandalism and theft opportunities.
• EV Charger - every new home will be expected to have an EV car charging point or at least a community charging point.
• Tenants ongoing bills - energy bills should be zero, water use must be low, when it comes to food and paying the rent every effort must be made to reduce the cost of living and increase the comfort of future homes. ‘Heat or eat’ needs to be in the history books.
Above: ModPod, Type A metal finish
As you can see, choosing the right building can be a mine field. The wrong decision now may affect you and your colleagues for decades to come! What can you do to make the right decision for which modular house builder to choose today, where can you go to learn, see, and use all the products working together?
Relax - we have you covered. The home of the future will be shown at Grand Design, ExCeL, London, 30th April-8th May. All the latest products will be on show with a real life, single story home as a turnkey ready to move in. All the suppliers of the equipment will be available to see and talk to at the show.
We are going one step further. After the show the home will go back to the Coventry site at ModPods to be lived in with ongoing full energy monitoring system.
Please enquire to receive your free V.I.P invite or make an appointment to discuss your requirements further at the show. Visit www.energycarbon.co.uk or call 0203 507 1659. For further details on the Grand Design show please contact Josh Mills on 020 3225 5200.