Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Touchwood Homes on The Telegraph website!

The Telegraph website has a feature on Touchwood Homes for their Innovations at Work section where they focus on our low energy buildings and the quality required to achieve an air tight build. Please see the video featuring an interview with Adam at:

Friday, 1 November 2013

£59 Annual Running costs for a Touchwood Home!

With all the talk of energy costs in the media, we asked David and Penny, clients who have been living in their Essex Touchwood Home for a year how their energy costs are, particularly compared to their old house.

David reports tiny running costs of only £59 / year, compared to £2,860 in their previous house! How was this achieved? firstly by designing and building the house structure to the passivhaus principles - 300mm thick walls packed solid with Warmcel insulation, so minimal heat loss through the walls. Similarly 360mm thick rafters. Just like a very thick jumper all around the external surface of the home, holding the heat in.

The foundation used was our Passivhaus foundation slab which ensures heat loss to ground is completely minimised. This is well demonstrated when shoes are taken off when entering the home - the tiled ground floor does not feel cold underfoot.

These design principles combined with our special air tight layer and PAUL MVHR system to provide constant fresh air result in a building with an incredibly low heating demand.

Once the design has minimised heat loss through the structure, then renewable energy technologies can be utilised to meet the minimal heating and hot water demand. Here, that has been achieved using a 3 panel solar thermal system, with heat stored in a 1000 litre thermal store. Winter heating back up is from a log stove with back boiler. The home also features a 4kWp PV array which under the feed in tariff receives £800 / year, aswell as reducing imported electricity.

As a back up heating method, underfloor heating was installed within the foundation slab. On our recent visit we asked David how often this has been needed - he responded  'I've never switched it on'.