Archive for category Sustainable Design

Ground Source Heat Pump | Eco House Design | Part 6

Renewable Energy Source |Ground Source Heat Pump

A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is an energy efficient way of heating and cooling a dwelling. It is a central heating and cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground. It uses the ground as heat source in winter, and heat sink in summer. This single system can produce space heating, space cooling and hot water.

Combining a ground source heat pump with active thermal insulation is an excellent option of heating a house. These two technologies are fit for each other.

A ground source heat pump is able to extract heat from the ground and concentrate it to provide heating for water or indoor areas, you can go to this site where you will find a great watering system. Some energy is required to operate the heat pump and heat exchangers. But net output of energy is greater than net input of energy. A 1 kW ground source heat pump could potentially provide heating or cooling equivalent of up to 4 kW energy.

Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground Source Heat Pump. Source:

Ground source heat pumps collect heat from up to 2m below the ground which is at a higher temperature than the surface during winter in the UK. A series of pipes are installed in the ground, known as the ground loop. A mixture of water and an antifreeze compound like glycol is pumped through these pipes. This antifreeze mix warms up as it travels in the loop, absorbing heat from the ground. Temperature difference between the fluid mix and dwelling of 3ºC to 4ºC should be enough for ground source heat pump to function effectively.

The returning warmed fluid is then fed to the heat exchanger, which in turn heats water which can then be pumped to radiators or active thermal insulation unit to heat the dwelling.

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Low Carbon House Design | Part 5

Elements of Low Carbon House Design

In this article, we will study the elements of low carbon house including design of windows and skylights, door air-gaps, airtightness, thermal bridging and understanding monthly energy demand profiles.

Windows and skylights

Ultra-efficient triple glazing will be used for windows and skylights in combination with insulated timber frame. According to Passivhaus standard, 1990, the resultant U-value will be 0.8 W/m2K.

Use of LED lights. Making use of day lighting from the roof and the windows. This would help reduce the reliance on artificial lighting. Shutters and louvers can be used to control solar gain and glare. (Halliday, 2008 p. 69)

Door Air-gaps

Loss of energy can be prevented by installing automatic door closers. The inside of the doors can be installed with brush strips to close the air gaps near the flooring. Modern, well-insulated doors can improve comfort levels by decreasing loss of heating and cooling.


It is estimated that up to 15% of energy is wasted to losses through the building fabric. Of those losses, up to 20% energy can be lost through windows and roof, while up to 35% heat energy lost is through air gaps near the doors..


Airtightness. Source:


To ensure airtightness of the building, wet plaster will be applied to the inside of the wall. This will minimise shrinkage between the wall and the floor. Airtightness tapes and membranes will be used to seal all the corner joints of windows and doors. Airtightness tape will be applied at junctions with plaster. It will make the low carbon house 20 times more airtight as compared to the standard homes built according to the building regulations (Passivhaus, 1990).

Airtightness grommets will be used around cabling and pipework to ensure that there is no leakage of air.

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Low Carbon House Design | Active thermal insulation and Roof Design | Part 4

Insulation : Active Thermal Insulation

‘Active thermal insulation installation’ will be used for achieving the thermal efficiency of the structure.

The technique of Active Thermal Insulation has been invented by Hungary, BT & Sons Ltd. Their technique involves use of the temperature of the soil for thermal insulation. The coils are applied all around the walls of the house which are made with masonry stain. The coil is connected to a soil probe or a soil absorber and the liquid in that flows by using a small (50W – 70W) flow pump. This helps to minimise the heat loss of the building. It also helps to cool the interior of the house in summer and reduces the external heat load in summer. The temperature of the Earth is nearly constant +8 ° C to +12 ° C all year round. This system requires to be used in combination with the heat pump.


Active Thermal insulation

Active Thermal insulation.  The picture shows the coil runs all around the walls and the roof and is connected to the ground source heat pump.    Source:

According to the Passivhaus standard, the building needs to have super insulation with low U-value. The effectiveness of a material as an insulator in buildings is measured with the help of U-value, the lower, the better is the building performance. It is known as thermal transmittance (Shomera House Extensions, 2012).

The major benefit of using ‘Active Thermal Insulation is that same efficiency can be achieving using less thicker walls (Active thermal insulation, 2011) which means more space would be release. In Brighton, the land is expensive and an integrated construction method can be utilised to achieve both energy and space efficiency.

Walling material

Neopor cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) will be used for walls, roof and floor, the Hardwood Flooring Specialists of Atlanta will take care of the installation  The benefits of using CLC blocks are tremendous weight reduction, high thermal insulation, optimum fire rating, substantial material saving (no gravel, little cement, less steel required in structure and foundation, easy to construct and produce, low embodied energy material). CLC blocks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes (Source:

The Neopor CLC blocks used will be 600mm x 440mm x 250mm. These are lightweight interlocking blocks. The pipe coil is placed in part of the CLC block filled with concrete in a way such that the thicker insulated part of the brick is placed at the interior of the building and the thinner insulated part remains exposed to the exterior with active thermal insulation at work.

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Low Carbon House Design | Climate, Orientation and Building Design | Part 3

How to design a Low Carbon House? | House Design

In this article, we will study the climate of the city, orientation of the structure (Waste House), building design and low energy specifications

Location of Waste House

The Waste House is located in Brighton, a town on the south coast of Great Britain. It is situated in the southeast side of Grand Parade campus of the University of Brighton.The low carbon house project is located in the southeast side of the Grand Parade campus of the University of Brighton.

Brighton and Hove Map. Source: Google Maps

Brighton has a temperate climate characterised by mild, calm weather and is sunny in summer, sea breezes and a healthy, bracing air, which is important to keeping a healthy system and body and you can find where to buy kratom and other supplements for this purpose, of course you also need to have regular checkouts to secure your health, from normal visit to the doctors, to the necessary visit to the dentist every years at clinics like Asecra dentist.

Climate Data

According to the statistics provided by (Climate and temperature, 2012), we have almost 4.8 hours of sunshine per day which equates to 1766 hours of sunshine annually. Storms occurred in the years 1703, 1806, 1824, 1848, 1850, 1896, 1910 and 1987 caused serious damage. Also there have recent storms in December 2013 and February 2014 causing fierce wind and floods (The Guardian on ‘UK storms and flooding’, 2014).


Waste house is a two storey house. Achieving energy efficiency is the key objective of the project. One of the most important design considerations is achieving optimum orientation of the building in order to achieving optimum energy efficiency.

The southern wall of the waste house will have windows and roof angled at approximately 35° to help in maximizing the solar gain in winter and take advantage of the elliptical solar path (Halliday, 2008 and Pitts and Lanchashire, 2011). Since, the building lies in the central location of the town, it is surrounded by buildings.

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