Bucks Plus-Energy Passivhaus

Typology: 
Residential
Status: 
Completed
2015

This all-electric, Plus Energy Passive House home is perhaps the most advanced, high performance new house in the UK. It has been designed to produce two and a half times more energy in a year than it consumes. Crucially, because it is a Passive House, even its winter energy demand is small. With the addition of a 12kWp photovoltaic array to harvest solar energy, together with 12kWh of battery storage, this home is almost completely energy-independent and even in the most extreme winter conditions has an 80% lower peak-energy demand from the grid than an ordinary house. 

Lark Rise has been designed to show how the 'Smart Energy Revolution' has the potential to enable the UK to be fueled by renewable energy rather than fossil fuel. If the roll-out of this concept were scaled up, money spent on new and retrofit buildings like this has the capacity to reduce national peak energy demand. If we can reduce peak energy demand, then we can reduce the need for new power stations, and the many billions of pounds saved on building, operating, fueling and eventually decommissioning each power station can instead go into creating and converting more buildings like this, thereby producing more savings in power station expenditure - a really healthy feedback loop - see this blog posting on feedback loops...

This building is designed as a prototype for a building type that will allow the UK to be self-sufficient in renewable energy; and therefore energy independent. It's demand is so small that, if all our buildings were built or retrofitted to work like this, then home-produced renewable energy would easily supply all of the UK's needs, all of the time.

This concept is being further tested and advanced by us on a building commissioned by the famous environmental engineer and Cambridge Building Physicist, Max Fordham. It will also be the subject of an important book that Max is currently working on, showing how the mathematics of the concept is entirely workable, and pointing out that we'd better get on, as a nation, with the job.