Traditionally, domestic hot water has simply been a choice between a combi boiler or a vented system (with the odd Point of Use water heater thrown in).
With water saving design, and zero carbon housing which will possibly become the standard in 2016, this all changes slightly for several reasons -
with PassivhausSee more on [...]
Existing houses present a much greater challenge than new ones in terms of energy saving. However in terms of reusing building materials they often provide better opportunities.
Patrick and Fiona run a very pleasant bed and breakfast near Nelson, Caerphilly and their house has been the subject of much renovation and extension over the [...]
Bringing existing houses up to a high standard of energy efficiency is a much greater challenge than with new ones.
This particular example of eco renovation is outstanding because of the way it will achieve a net zero carbon rating while at the same time reaching CSH
Code for Sustainable Homes. A standard for eco-houses developed by the Building Research Establishment. It covers a wide range of criteria
Code for Sustainable Homes. A standard for [...]
The Tree House in Clapham, London is a recently completed and very elegant example of a self built detached house. It has, on occasion, been open to the public as part of the London Open House programme. Situated on a small urban plot of land dominated by a large sycamore tree it has [...]
Jim and Jo Monahan are nearing completion of their passive solar house in Spinningdale, Sutherland. This is a timber frame house which utilizes roundwood for many of the structural members. This is a way of using timber at its maximum strength because it is not cut across the grain. The timber framing [...]
the front of the house with double storey[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this means a. any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] - A raised area or platform around the sides or at the back of a room which provides extra space. Habitable room A room used, or intended to be used, for dwellinghouse[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] -
A unit of residential accommodation occupied (whether or not as a sole or main residence):
a. by a single person or by people living together as a family
b. by not more than six residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for residents. (See also paragraphs 0.22 and 0.23.)
Dwellinghouse does not include a flat or a building containing a flat. purposes (including; for the purposes of Part B, a kitchen, but not a bathroom). if its area is more than half that of the space into which it projects; and b. a roof, unless it is accessible only for maintenance and repair.[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this means a. any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] – A raised area or platform around the sides or at the back of a room which provides [...]
In the UK there is plenty of heat energy to be harvested; it just doesn’t all come at the right time. Ideally you save all the surplus heat that comes along and then use it when there is a shortage.
Winter / summer balance
At one extreme is the interseasonal heat store such as was [...]
Locally grown timber
Situated in the Scottish Highlands, this nearly completed timber house is composed of three hexagonal areas plus a sun room which extends segmentally out of one of the hexagon sides. The framework is of local Douglas fir and the rain screenthis is a (usually thin) outer cladding on [...]
High thermal massthis is about how much heat something can absorb - so it involves its specific heat capacity and its volume. It can be useful for levelling out the peaks and troughs of temperature within a house. See the page on
thermal mass is generally seen as a useful quality in a building because it can be utilised to trap and save any spare heat which might turn up.
It can also do the reverse equivalent for coolth during hot weather. This quality is utilised in passive solar design, including the PassivhausSee [...]
Boilers are available for burning straw for domestic heating and constitute an almost carbon neutral source of heat as the carbon is recycled annually. Various sizes of bales can be used and are usually batch loaded by tractor. There is nearly always a hot water storage accumulatorusually a large water tank used to store [...]
How clean is wood burning?
Arguably one of the greenest methods for heating a rural house in the UK (including domestic hot water) is a combination of solar thermal collectors (for summer) and wood pellet or chip (for winter). Logs come a close second if they are dry and burn cleanly. They are also [...]