We’ve recently completed on an off-grid energy-efficient new build project in the sought after village of Repton, in South Derbyshire, where we were commissioned to undertake every step of the architectural design and build process. This involved creating the initial concepts, getting the developed design through the planning application process as well as undertaking the technical design working drawings to guide the build and co-ordinating the construction process and building work inspections. Finally, upon completion, we have provided an architect’s certificate to verify that the work had been carried out as specified and in accordance with the approved plans.
We were approached by a semi-retired structural engineer, who had purchased the plot of land on the outskirts of the historic village, to design an eco-home that he and his wife could settle into throughout their retirement. The client’s primary objective was that they wanted the property to be off-grid so that their power usage would be zero once completed. Several eco-tech principles have been adopted to achieve the carbon-neutral goal combined with a stylish design.
A timber frame has been utilised as it provides a sustainable and energy efficient structure, locking in heat and therefore reducing the need for heating by creating a super insulated shell. The frame is constructed using timber sourced from sustainable plantations and requires significantly less energy than traditional building materials to construct. They are also much speedier to go up on site (in as little as a few days!), as when they arrive the panels are already cut to specification.
A ground source heating system has been installed providing the property with hot water and heating. This technology works by using ground loops or bore holes to extract and collect the heat stored within the ground. The property also benefits from underfloor heating powered by the ground source, which is up to 40% more efficient than a radiator system, which also means clean walls that are free of radiators and pipework.
The roof has been designed to ensure that it makes the most of the south aspect as it uses solar ‘slate’ tiles to generate power for the house. PV Slate was selected, as the tiles blend seamlessly with the natural slate, allowing us the flexibility to install a system bespoke to the roof design, as well as being aesthetically pleasing to both the clients and sympathetic to its setting.
The renewable technologies used allow the clients to power their home whilst also making a return on their investment and putting energy back into the national grid, which they get paid for through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme – bonus!
The result is a property that uses Passivhaus methods including super-insulation and airtightness resulting in low heating requirements and a reduced carbon footprint.
Interested in an eco-house build? Contact us to discuss your project with one of our experienced architects.