The good news is that new builds are beginning to incorporate heat recovery systems as well as a host of other green design and technology. The reason is that new buildings are a lot more airtight than our old homes and offices, which have far too many nooks and crannies that heat can be lost through. With that airtight environment, the first thing you need is a good ventilation system that works by saving the heat within and recycling it back into the living environment.
Efficiencies of heat recovery systems in new builds can often reach as high as 70% depending on the technology used.
The Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes has had a revolutionising effect on house building in the UK with more companies trying to construct homes and offices that meet the target of zero carbon output. That means your newly built home may now come with its own solar panels as well as a state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation system, super-efficient heating and a host of other gadgets that all work together to make your it more sustainable.
Heat Recovery Systems for Large Scale Renovations
But what about large scale renovations of older buildings? Can they be brought into the 21st Century and do their bit to lower our collective carbon footprint? According to many industry insiders, refurbishment may not be the answer for our ageing architecture – and we might have to face the fact that some old buildings have come to the end of their life span. New builds present more chances to include energy sustainable technology whilst it can often be difficult or impracticable to make an old building as energy efficient.
If you have an old building then trying to install a heat recovery system such as ventilation or a heat pump can be a bad decision because of all the areas where air leaks out. Simply put it doesn’t work as efficiently. These technologies only work to their full capacity in an environment that is relatively airtight – something new builds provide but older buildings do not.
That doesn’t mean people aren’t undertaking a large scale renovations and trying to make them as green as possible. And there is a counter argument that old buildings will never be as eco-friendly as new but that doesn’t mean we should give up on them.
The Eco-home Experiment in Nottingham undertaken by TV personality Penny Poyzer has seen a complete refurbishment of a house incorporating technology such as solar panels, composting chambers and heat recovering fans that “limit” rather than totally eradicate heat loss. Find out more here. Another eco-refurbishment is a 1929 home on Selly Oak Road in Birmingham that has no less than 50 new green features installed including a ground source heat pump.
The opinion for these rebuilders is that heat recovery may not be as efficient as in new builds, but it has its place in large scale renovations too.
Discover some more refurbishments that have gone totally green.
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