This house produces more energy than it uses

Experts from Cardiff University in Wales 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 three-bedroom house was constructed in 16 weeks and is located in Pyle, outside Bridgend in Wales, at a cost of £125,000 (R2.4 million).

The house, designed by Professor Phil Jones and his team based at the Welsh School of Architecture, was built as a prototype to meet tough targets for zero carbon housing set by UK Government and was officially unveiled on Thursday, 16 July.

Its unique design combines for the first time reduced energy demand, renewable energy supply and energy storage to create an energy positive house.

Zero carbon energy performance involves a combination of reduced energy demand and renewable energy supply, using the electricity grid to import and export energy.

Electrical and thermal storage was also used to allow energy generated at the house to be used directly by it’s occupants.

In order to 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; structural insulated panels (SIPS); external insulated render; transpired solar collectors; and low emissivity double glazed aluminium clad timber frame windows and doors.

The south facing roof comprises of glazed solar photovoltaic panels, fully integrated into the design of the building, allowing the roof space below to be naturally lit. This has been designed to reduce the cost of bolting on solar panels to a standard roof, the designers said.

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 which includes appliances, LED lighting and heat pump.

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This house produces more energy than it uses