Low Carbon Technologies @Viewpoint
17th December 2020
Around 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes, and the Energy Saving Trust estimates household emissions from heating and hot water will need to reduce by 95% to reach the UK’s 2050 net-zero target. With a ban on gas boilers in new build houses from 2025 and Bristol’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030, there is both a need to transition to greener technologies and a desire from homeowners to lead more sustainable, lower-carbon lifestyles. At Autograph Homes we’re working hard to incorporate low carbon technologies into the new homes we build.
At our development in Bristol’s Totterdown neighbourhood, we’ve matched a range of green technologies to reduce the carbon cost of these new home drastically. We’re taking a closer look at three of these technologies: air source heat pumps (ASHPs), photovoltaic panels (PV) and underfloor heating (UFH) to explain how they work in synergy to reduce emissions radically. By marrying the benefits of each of these technologies we’re aiming to achieve an SAP A rating for these properties, placing them in the top 1% of energy performance for new homes in the UK.
Solar photovoltaic cells are made from layers of semi-conducting silicon; they absorb sunlight and use the energy to generate an electric current. PVs just need daylight to function, so even on a cloudy day, they’ll generate some power. The direct current that is created is fed into an inverter which converts it to alternating current which can be used to power household appliances. At Viewpoint, we’re fitting high output panels into all the properties to provide clean, free energy to these homes. Whilst the amount of power generated is dependent on sunlight, a typical home solar PV system can save around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
Air Source Heat Pumps
The majority of household CO2 emissions come from heating, in fact at 23%, household heating runs close behind transport as the UK’s 2nd largest emitter of greenhouse gases. To tackle this, in the townhouses at Viewpoint, we’re installing air source heat pumps (ASHPs). Heat pumps are situated outside the house; they absorb renewable heat from their surroundings and transfer the heat your home. They work by absorbing heat into a fluid at a low temperature which is then passed through a compressor, increasing the temperature. The fluid is then fed into the wet central heating system of your home. ASHPs require an electrical input, but they are efficient delivering up to three times as much thermal energy as the electrical energy used to drive them. When powered by PVs heat pumps are also carbon neutral.
Air source heat pumps run cooler than conventional boilers; therefore, your central heating system needs a greater surface area to warm your home sufficiently. At Viewpoint@Totterdown we’re installing underfloor heating which gives out heat at lower temperatures over longer periods. Underfloor heating systems are typically around 25% more energy-efficient than radiators. There are other benefits to this system too, from better air quality, fewer cold spots and draughts and no more cold floors. With the absence of wall-mounted radiators, your interior design options increase too. As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned, by zoning the underfloor heating and fitting smart controls you have more control over the energy expenditure within your home.
To find out more about the features that make the homes at Viewpoint@Totterdown stand out from the crowd, please download our brochure or call our sales team today on 0117 3018161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.