Huw recently visited the UK’s first purpose built, low-cost energy smart house at Stormy Down. The house was designed and built by experts from the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University and is capable of exporting more energy to the national grid than it uses.
Huw was shown around the SOLCER house by designer Professor Phil Jones. It took 16 weeks to construct at a cost of £1,000 per square metre. It is part of the Wales Low Carbon Research Institutes (LCRI) programme funded by the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).
The property is a prototype to showcase the innovative new ways we can build houses in the future. Its unique design means that for the first time it achieves the combination of reduced energy demand, renewable energy supply, and energy storage in order to create an energy positive house. This means that for eight months of the year it will produce more energy than it consumes. Over the course of a year for every £100 spent on electricity it will be balanced by £175 in energy exported back to the national grid.
To reduce energy demand the house was built with high levels of thermal insulation. It uses innovative energy efficient design methods such as low carbon cement, structural insulated panels, external insulated render, transpired solar collectors, hot water heat storage, and low emissivity double glazed aluminum clad timber frame windows and doors.
Huw said, “The SOLCER house is an innovative and exciting piece of design. It is a great achievement that these technologies are being developed here in Wales. The team should receive credit for its use of local supply chains, allowing both local skill development and local jobs.”