Clearview National December 2015 - Issue 169 - Page 38

DOORS&WINDOWS An Eco-Challenge »»Two years ago, Jo and Andy Thompson were living in social housing at Unity Gardens, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire - one of the UK’s first zero-carbon housing developments. They had resigned themselves to being lifelong renters, having no spare cash for a deposit. Then one day, the dream of owning their own home became more of a reality. Jo’s mother moved into a semi-detached house in South Lincolnshire and was sitting outside one day wondering how she would look after the huge garden as she got older. Jo and Andy brought some of the garden to build their own house and employed the help of local Architect Dr Jerry Harrall, a multi award winning designer of eco-friendly developments. “Jerry had designed our new home and submitted the plans – keeping it simple to avoid any hold ups.” Andy commented. Jerry reflects on the planning process: “The first challenge came after submitting the plans to South Holland District Council. The planners required a consensus as to whether to support the application, due to the building being classed as ‘modern architecture.’ Luckily, 38 » dec 2015 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M however, the same local authority’s Building Control team had a completely opposite approach and championed the designs from the onset. “The issues arose as they were focusing on what wasn’t in the building as opposed to what was. The house has no foundations, being simply built on a garage floor slab – and has no cavity walls, no plasterboard and no mechanical ventilation.” It took 12 months from submitting the plans to beginning the build. Andy continues: “In March 2014, we moved into a caravan onsite and building began. “Due to the differences in the way the building was designed, tradespeople had to take a new approach to the way they worked. Bricklayers, for example, weren’t required to lay bricks or leave cavities in the wall. Our main objective was to build an eco-friendly home with no utility bills.” Jerry explains: “The weakest area of a house is traditionally the windows, as this is where most of the heat is lost. Most standard house builders will usually get U-values of around 1.7W/m2K - our aim was to get below 1.0W/ m2K.” Jo says: “We hadn’t heard of Liniar windows before, but our architect recommended them as he had used them in previous projects. “We found a local Liniar installer, Bob Mills and he ordered Liniar EnergyPlus six-chamber profile windows with plastic composite spacer bar, triple glazing, and low emissivity film on the inside and outside to achieve a U-value of 0.8W/m2K.” Modern living “FranklyBee represents modern living,” claims Andy, “and we’re delighted that the building is ‘Energy Positive’ by 40% meaning that it generates 40% more energy that it uses. Putting that into numbers, our house generates around 5,000 kWh of energy a year, but we only use around 3,000 kWh. “Overall, the build went smoothly from start to finish. It was constructed exactly as it was designed, and best of all, we received our first energy ‘bill’ the other day – as we’d hoped, it was actually a cheque!” Visit