Experts from Cardiff University have designed and built the UK’s first purpose-built, low-cost energy smart house, capable of exporting more energy to the national electricity grid than it uses.
The house, designed by Professor Phil Jones and his team based at the Welsh School of Architecture, has been built as a prototype to meet targets for zero carbon housing set by UK Government.
Its unique design combines for the first time reduced energy demand, renewable energy supply and energy storage to create an energy positive house.
The Welsh and UK Governments – and governments across the EU – have set targets for very low ‘nearly zero’ energy buildings by 2020, and zero carbon new housing can deliver this and more. This is the first house in the UK that has been purposely built, using a systems approach, to be carbon positive. Now the house has been built our key task is to ensure that all of the measures that we have put in place are monitored to ensure the most energy efficient use. We will use this information to inform future projects with the aim of ensuring that Wales remains at the heart of the development of a zero carbon housing future. The building demonstrates our leading edge low carbon supply, storage and demand technologies at a domestic scale which we hope will be replicated in other areas of Wales and the UK in the future.
In order to drastically reduce the energy demand, the house was built with high levels of thermal insulation, reducing air leakage, and uses an innovative energy efficient design which includes low carbon cement and low emissivity double glazed aluminium clad timber frame windows and doors.
The house’s energy systems combine solar generation and battery storage to power both its combined heating, ventilation, hot water system and its electrical power systems.
I am delighted to see Wales leading the UK with the launch of this unique property which has the distinction of being the first building of its kind in the UK. It is a great showcase for the technologies being developed in Wales, with the potential to be adopted and replicated in future housing developments across the UK creating wide ranging long term benefits for the economy, the environment and occupiers.
The house, situated in Pyle near Bridgend, took a total of 16 weeks to build.