Thursday, 7 March 2013

Zero Carbon Status Achieved

One of the main goals of the design was to make our house a zero carbon home. This was a necessity to achieve the highest level 6 on the CfSH. The SAP calculation had been done alongside the design and specification of the building to make sure that we were in with a strong chance of achieving the zero carbon status. However there was still the unknown value of the air pressure test to incorporate, which cannot be tested until the building fabric and mechanical system has been completed.

Throughout the design and build we put a lot of time and effort into making sure the detailing was tight and that the build quality was high. This paid off when the air pressure test results were calculated as we achieved a result of 1.9m3/hm2 (the lowest our tester had ever found). This was considerably better than the 3 we had assumed for the design stage calculation and in a different league to the minimum of 15 required for building regulations.

We achieved our goal and scored a very impressive 116 on the EPC certificate, approximately twice the score of the average UK dwelling. By calculating the CO2 used by the fuels required to run the house and offsetting this against the CO2 saved by the amount of electricity we generate, we are actually reducing global CO2 levels rather than increasing through the running of our house. This is evidence that the time and energy put in to drastically reduce the energy consumption of the house and utilisation of our building location and orientation to generate electricity has paid off. We have made the building truly sustainable from an energy perspective.

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