Future houses will rightly be regarded as ‘super homes’ by comparison with today’s designs. In turn, future kit homes will be regarded as ‘super kit homes’. In reality, the majority of new housing will be of timber frame construction. Timber frame construction will offer the easiest and most cost effective solution when it comes to meeting the increasingly stringent building regulations.
The biggest changes are going to revolve around the Government’s aim for all new houses to be net zero carbon neutral by 2016. This will be achieved in two phases. In 2010 new energy standards will be introduced to deliver carbon dioxide savings of 30% more than 2007 standards and in 2013 a further 30%.
U-values and airtightness for the building fabric are required to be improved in 2010 to match those of Nordic countries, which will necessitate the use of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. The ambition is to achieve total-life zero carbon buildings by 2030.
In reality, this means south facing elevations of houses will need large areas of glass, to harvest heat from the sun, solar thermal roof panels for water heating and solar photovoltaic (PV) roof panels to produce electricity. Other renewable energy features may need to be provided too, such as ground/air source heat pumps and wind turbines.
The ideal building form will be a two storey rectangular box, with large areas of glass on the south elevation and the least number of small windows on all other elevations. Houses will need to be airtight and highly insulated. The ultimate design will produce a ‘passive’ house, requiring no heating, except for a wood burning stove or similar in the sitting room. The outcome will be houses which are significantly more expensive to build but very cheap to run.
Norscot is currently developing a range of eco homes, with new forms of wall construction and a package of renewable energy options, which will meet or exceed future building standards.
There can be little doubt Norscot has stood the test of time. This means customers can expect products which are “fit for purpose” and a reliable service. They can also have total confidence in the comprehensive guarantees offered by the company.