UK’s first ‘energy positive’ house completed
A team from Cardiff University have constructed the first house in Britain which will produce and sell more energy than it uses.
Based in Wales, the low cost ‘positive energy’ house can generate more energy than its occupants will use and was built on an industrial estate just outside Bridgend for £125,000. For every £100 worth of electricity used, the house has been designed to produce £175 in electricity exports and meet the emissions targets for housing which were originally set in 2006.
Designers from the Welsh School of Architecture have saved both money and space by utilising photovoltaic solar panels which function as the roof, thus dispensing with radiators and incorporating the air collector as part of the wall. The design takes a holistic view, reducing energy consumption during the winter using large amounts of insulation, with the resulting electricity surplus then stored in batteries which allows the property to export electricity to the national grid for 8 months of the year. What’s more, the project uses low cost, ‘off the shelf’ technologies, demonstrating what is possible today by taking a smart approach.
Professor Phil Jones, whose team designed the house, told the press that building costs of the 100 square metre, 3 bedroomed home, could significantly drop below £100,000 if several were built at the same time.
This cutting-edge, ‘energy positive’ house provides a clear example of how enhancing renewable energies can go beyond simply being economically viable, and if designed correctly can shift thinking from the mitigation of negatives to offering wider, positive impacts.