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Domestic hot water

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 carbonbit of a slippery fish. It tends to mean that a building uses no carbon (oil, coal, etc) to heat it (meaning […]

Emitters (radiators etc.)

Central heating

Emitters tend to be of two types – traditional radiators and underfloor heating. It’s a bit of a toss-up as to which is better. They have their respective advantages and drawbacks.

Underfloor

a pleasanter heat because it is better distributed no wall space taken up by radiators possibly more efficient because of lower […]

Space heating

see also Emitters (radiators etc.) Gas boilers Heating controls

It is reckoned that in the UK, housing is responsible for about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Poor heating can render parts of dwellings virtually unusable, partly through discomfort due to cold and drafts and partly through the damage caused to contents through condensation, dampness, mould […]

Retrofit

‘Under the Sun’, a Victorian terrace house in Birmingham is an outstanding example of bringing a fairly typical old building up to PassivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived […]

Heat stores

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 […]

Thermal Mass

Energy storage

High 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 more […]

Energy Harvesting

There are several methods of harvesting energy for a house but non of them are as important as providing excellent levels of insulation, air tightnessA measure of how leaky a building is to air. In other words, how draughty it might be. There are now standard fan pressure tests to check how air tight […]