Category 6: Energy Efficiency
Project that demonstrates best use of energy efficiency measures designed to reduce energy consumption, save on energy bills and minimise the overall impact on the environment
Project: An eco house requiring no central heating and minimal water use
Builder: R&R Building Services, Brighton
Client: Mick and Sue Paskins
Inspiring eco home needing no central heating and minimal water
Among all the entries in this year’s Master Builder of the Year Awards, this new eco-build in the heart of Brighton provides an inspiring example of what can be achieved by a client who is fully committed to creating a sustainable zero-energy home and a dedicated yet non-specialist builder.
Green-minded couple Mick and Sue Paskins, a Councillor for the Green Party, bought a plot of land in the Preston Park area of Brighton, with a view to building their own energy efficient home.
Today the delighted couple have a stunning glass and wood home which cost them £370,000 to build. They pay £5 a month in electricity, have a negligible gas bill and use only 70 litres of water a day - compared to 300 litres a day used by the average UK couple.
“We tried to use minimal energy in our previous house, but are very pleased with these energy costs,” said Mick. “These enormous savings should increase as the weather improves, the house dries out completely and we learn move about how to best manage the house using these technologies.
“Their chosen builder Terry Coglan of R&R Building Services was very interested in green building, but was not a specialist, so he faced a steep learning curve in terms of materials, techniques and design.
It was an extremely challenging build with quirky shapes and odd angles, further complicated by the delays caused by suppliers. Planning requirements restricted the building height to 4.5 metres so the house had to be sunk into the ground at the back to the depth of one floor. Also access to the site was via a narrow side entrance.
The design itself uses cutting edge technology, providing superior air tightness and a full mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, as well as a solar thermal water heating system. It also uses rainwater harvesting and grey water harvesting (used for toilet flushing) to keep water usage to a minimum.
Builder Terry had recently built his own home, which gave him great insight into how it feels from the client side and how important it is to keep the clients informed as the project goes along, however he became an advocate of green building through working on this job.
”I think our project awakened an understanding in Terry as to what can be achieved and he said he wished he’d incorporated some of the eco elements, such as insulation and solar thermal water heating into his own build,” said Mick.
“We are very pleased and are now learning how to live comfortably while making sure our energy usage is minimal. In order to be zero carbon, we need to generate electricity, so photovoltaics on the roof are next on the shopping list,” Mick added.