Low Energy House

Low Energy House - Eco Friendly Building - Eco House

The Hanson Eco-House™ is an experimental housing project at the BRE in Watford which brings together the latest developments in off site masonry construction.  This eco house was the first masonry house to achieve Code Level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes. Its construction brings together the latest developments in off site building, thermal mass and natural ventilation

Hanson EcoHouse™ - Image Provided by Hanson Building ProductsEco House Building Materials

Hanson is the UK's leading supplier of heavy building materials to the construction industry, producing aggregates (crushed rock, sand and gravel), ready-mixed and pre-cast concrete, asphalt and cement related materials and a range of building products including concrete pavers, tiles and clay bricks.

Eco House Low Energy Construction

The construction of the Hanson Eco-House™ at the BRE in Watford provides an outstanding concept dwelling. It brings together the latest developments in off-site masonry construction, thermal mass and natural ventilation in the context of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The code enables developers to demonstrate a dwelling's environmental performance by means of star ratings, the ultimate objective being to obtain a zero carbon rating by 2016.

Eco House Flexible Design

Designed as a three bed detached dwelling, the Hanson Eco-House™ shows all the benefits of off site building, which together with thermal mass and natural ventilation assist in the development of a building system targeting the zero carbon houses of the future. In addition it shows how quickly and easily properties can be constructed.

Eco House and Thermal Mass

The eco house has high thermal mass creating a structure to cope efficiently in both summer and winter. This inherent feature enables the dwelling to store heat and remain cooler for longer than lightweight structures, meeting the needs of climate change and keeping buildings cool in an energy efficient environment.

Eco House - Passive Stack Ventilation - Roof Lantern

The eco house design is based on the traditional brick kiln which evolved to take advantage of the principle that warm/hot air naturally rises. Firing a kiln sends heated air up through the chimney at the top, while drawing fresh air in at the lower level to provide a continuous flow.

In the eco house, a ventilating roof lantern is used to give light and to enhance natural air currents, so maximising the energy conservation potential. The ventilating roof light automatically operates to open and close to meet the prevailing weather pattern and so regulate the internal air temperature.

Eco House and Off Site Building

The eco house is constructed using masonry panels manufactured off site in a controlled factory environment. The system has been designed to meet the needs of housebuilders and developers and is applicable across a wide range of housing options. It brings the benefits of high quality and speed of construction with little or no site wastage. The process is less susceptible to weather delays compared to on-site construction. In addition, householders benefit from a comfortable, flexible and controlled energy use environment, using zero carbon initiatives.

Eco House Construction Materials

Hanson EcoHouse™ - Image Provided by Hanson Building ProductsThe eco house takes construction benefits from the incorporation of Hanson’s own manufactured components. The external walls are constructed from offsite prefabricated dense aggregate brick and block walling panels which offer advantages of strength and high thermal mass properties.

The upper floors of the eco house are constructed from pre-cast concrete. The ground floor is constructed using a composite pre-cast concrete system that incorporates polystyrene infill blocks to provide a high level of insulation. Staircases are individually designed and manufactured from pre-cast concrete and the internal walls are constructed from high density pre-cast concrete panels.

Eco House and Triple Glazed Windows

Triple glazed, high performance, timber windows with low emissivity krypton gas fill and warm edge spacer bars have been installed.

Eco House Solar Collector

The efficient solar thermal collector system comprises two short evacuated tubes with a unique flow return system within the glass tubes. The hot water is collected to a high efficiency thermal store, providing all the domestic hot water requirements for the house.

Eco House Ground Source Heat Pump

The underfloor heating system is fed by a ground source heat pump and produces an optimum 18-22 °C room temperature which provides an even heat output throughout the building.

Eco House Rainwater Harvesting

The eco house has an external permeable concrete block paved area which allows rain to pass through into the ground beneath it where it is collected in a water tank. The system cleans and filters the collected water so that it can be used for secondary non-potable uses, such as flushing wc’s and watering the garden.

The ground beneath the concrete block paving system also accommodates the coiled pipework of a ground source heat pump which transfers hot water to the eco house's central heating and domestic hot water systems, during cold periods.

Data released by Hanson shows that the Hanson Eco-House™ has exceeded all performance expectations, proving that the benefits of thermal mass can be provided in a house built from traditional masonry and concrete construction

About Eco Friendly Building - Eco Houses