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Zero-carbon experiment turns one

24 October 2011 No Comment

A ground-breaking experiment in eco-building is celebrating its first birthday.

In order to research the practicalities of living in green housing, a group of families have been living in zero-carbon accommodation for a year. It is thought the experiment could affect the way eco-friendly homes and offices are built in the future.


Eco-friendly homes

A development of ten eco-houses in Berkshire was completed a year ago and welcomed its first guests soon afterwards. The £3.6 million development was then studied by Southern Electric to see what the practicalities were of living in a zero-carbon environment.

Results of the experiment are already coming through, with families explaining that their lives were relatively unchanged in the eco-friendly homes, but that more thought needed to be given to ventilation.

Solar panelling

The houses consist of skylights and large windows to allow more natural light. Solar panelling was used to provide energy and external cladding to ensure the interior was kept insulated.

Speaking of his time living in the experimental home, resident Ross Easton told greenbuildingpress.co.uk how it had been really interesting being part of the project and how the most unusual thing is that the home was actually quite normal.

“We are not eco-warriors but it has made us think more about how much energy we use,” he said. “It’s been really good so far, The homes get very warm in the summer though and ventilation is one of the areas that will have to be looked at.”

Adding, project manager Wendy Pringle told sloughobserver.co.uk:

“The residents are enjoying their homes, especially the amount of natural light in the buildings from larger windows and skylights.”

“Residents are also delighted with their lower energy bills and the solar PV has been performing really well over the summer.”

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