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Eco House Project

Uttlesford District Council has carried out a complete refurbishment on one of its housing stock, a 1950s semi-detached property, thanks to the support of a number of sponsors donating and installing energy efficient measures and products.

Members of the public were invited to attend an Open Day at the refurbished property at 4 Station Road, Wendon's Ambo on 2 February 2012 to see how their own homes could be adapted to save hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.

The focus of the project has been on improving the fabric of the building through excellent thermal performance, exceptional air tightness and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. The approach has been based on the German Passivhaus Institut standard for retrofitting energy efficiency measures in properties, called 'Enerphit'.

The energy performance of the house has been assessed by an accredited Passivhaus Assessor. Based on the calculations from the Enerphit modelling the property has a projected 75 per cent reduction in heating demand compared to the original property, which is typical of most properties in the UK. Annual savings in bills could potentially be about £750, based on typical oil heating bills of about £1000 per year. The Specific Space Heating Demand for the property has been reduced from 327 kWh(m2a) to 58 kWh(m2a).

The range of retrofitted measures have been installed include: internal and external insulation, thermal floor slab, loft insulation, whole house heat recovery system, oil boiler replaced with Air Source Heat Pump, A-rated windows, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting, kitchen made from recycled materials, low energy appliances, eco-paint and permeable patio.

Mark Wilson, Energy Officer for Uttlesford District Council, said: "The council carried out this project to understand how a property can be improved and future-proofed against rising fuel bills and the need to reduce carbon emissions.
"The council has developed a working model of a range of measures that are possible, which will be used in improvements to its own housing stock and in encouraging private homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The property will be re-let to tenants and monitored for two years to assess the actual energy performance of the installed measures against the modelled results."

You can find further details of the project, a list of sponsors and plans of the building in the pdf icon Uttlesford Eco-House project brochure [1Mb] 

The Government has set an ambitious agenda for all new homes built after 2016 to be 'zero carbon'. The Eco House project will assist the Council in making preparations to ensure council assets and operations are resilient to predicted climate change impacts and will inform the adaptation of existing buildings and infrastructure in the district and to ensure new development is also 'climate proofed'.

You can read the Council's formal strategy for reducing its energy use and carbon emission by clicking on the link below:

Read the Climate local strategy and action plan 2015-2018

Contact the Sustainability Team

Tel: 01799 510510
Email: Climate Change