Sustainable eco-design is not just about saving our planet, but creating inspirational and healthy living environments that interacts with nature and are beautiful. There are many tried and tested technologies that can be incorporated into extension and refurbishment designs for your home.
Changing your heating system from Gas or Oil to electric heat pumps is now one of the single biggest sustainable improvements you can make to your home. Both Air-source and ground source Heat pumps and are becoming increasingly common due to government incentives and future plans to phase out Gas and Oil altogether sooner than many people realise.Heat pumps work in a similar way to your fridge or an air-con unit, extracting heat from the air / ground and using it in a warm water underfloor central heating system or will special low temperature radiators and can work with an efficiency in excess of 300%. Currently more than 60% of electricity is generated from low-carbon sources and will soon be almost entirely green energy.An efficient heat pump system will offer good levels of insulation within your walls, roof and floor, especially below underfloor heating loops. Existing homes will often need associated upgrades, but what better excuse to green up your current heat-leaking home?
Photovoltaic panels can be easily added to existing roofs and provide direct power to your home and supply excess to the national grid or stored in batteries. PV can now be incorporated into the tiles themselves for a flush seamless appearance.Solar hot-water panels can pre-heat/ heat all of your hot water needs. They will need to be fitted with a specialist hotwater tank and offer great benefit, especially in summer, when your boiler or heat pump needn’t work at all.
Think of the area covered by roofs in the UK. What if all could green living roofs, wouldn’t that be transformational, for biodiversity, appearance, temperature moderation and rainfall attenuation for flood avoidance.Most green roofs use sedum plants on free draining substrates, meaning they need no watering and add less weight to a roof than might otherwise require a heavy and wet subsoil. New roofing membranes and building technologies offer the waterproofing necessary.If your ground floor extension roof is planned to dominate the view from your bedroom window, why not enjoy a unique view over a living green roof? Why not make a statement and a visual feature from the ground as well as above? There are lots of ways to build and finish green roofs to fit the style of your house or your extension.
Timber framed walls offer the highest level of insulation, lowest embodied energy and associated heating bills! They are best clad with timber or metal cladding, such as copper or aluminium or they can be rendered, or brick finished.We specify best practice insulation and damp proofing systems. Timber construction is relatively high-tech construction compared to masonry cavity walls which will become a thing of the past soon as government targets push all construction and homes to zero carbon standard.Timber cladding can offer a great finish and as well as a net zero carbon product. Products such as Kebony or Accoya alter softwoods by sustainable processes to improve the strength and weatherproofing. They can offer fantastic durable and attractive finishes. And charred timber using traditional Japanese shou sugi ban methods offer a variety of durable treatment free timber finishes.