In an ideal world your home would offer shelter and warmth, comfort and practicality, and it would be nice if it was built using high quality components and was aesthetically pleasing. In an ideal world you would have all this, but even more so wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had all this and the warmth and comfort cost you very little to maintain, your bills were a fraction of the norm.
We seek to create this utopia, and believe in great part we have with our recent developments.
Our first major foray into low carbon building was our development at Cradley, five new houses using our ‘HerefordHaus’ system. We researched heavily into the available technologies and methodologies both domestic and European, and we started to understand the challenge and to work through the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of what was on offer, a lot that was claiming to be ‘eco’ that turned out to be far from it. We refined the elements necessary and found some great partners to work with in the design team.
The first major principle is FEE, Fabric Energy Efficiency, a ‘Fabric First’ approach. In simple terms, to create an effective envelope to the building that is very high performance that negates the need for higher levels of energy to heat it.
Reduction of Thermal Bridging is an important element of this and control of this reduces the cold from thransferring through structure.
Air Tightness, this is a very important issue and one of the many that require quality control levels not normally found in the construction process, but pays great efficiency dividends further down the line.
MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery), this is another element that if you get the other three parts right will make a huge difference not only the environment within the home but also will have a significant effect on the heating bills. We could talk about this in depth, but to avoid doing that suffice to say this creates a very comfortable atmosphere within the home where you will be breathing fresh air 24/7 and there will be no cold spots, rather an equal ambient temperature throughout the property.
We have gathered data and feedback from the buyers of the St Katherine’s Field properties and have been more than pleasantly surprised with their comments. Firstly they all love living there, they fully appreciate the airy comfortable feel within the homes and the even and controllable temperatures, but more importantly, the running costs. The energy bills represent a saving of around 75%! against a house build to current building regulations.
We have continued with the principles learned so far and have continued to utilise and refine them, espcially in our latest development in Malvern, The Revue, a five storey luxury apartment building in Orchard Road.
We have embraced the low energy challenge and we have discovered that there are more and more people seeking this, whether it be for reasons of saving the planet, comfort or to simply just use and pay for considerably less energy, and we will continue to aim for this goal, and take on new technologies and ideas that further this quest.
The new HerefordHaus system
The HerefordHaus system is a system devised by IE Developments Limited in collaboration with Taylor Lane Timber Frame and Architype Architects utilising currently available technologies and methodologies in a hybrid timber frame to achieve a super energy efficient low carbon home.
All three companies are Hereford based and the system is based upon the principles of PassivHaus. The key elements are:
1) High levels of insulation
2) High levels of air tightness
3) The reduction of thermal bridging
The use of high quality, high performance materials is an essential element in the system, and assessed SAP ratings are incredibly high achieving a score of over 100.
The process has been over a year on the drawing board and has been achieved by the accumulated efforts of three experienced award winning companies working together with a common goal of creating a system to deliver homes that require very little energy and deliver comfort and quality to the home owner.
Please see the link below to the AECB and our certification under the Silver Award. First in UK!