Adapting homes for renewable energy – are we ready for it?
The government is due to unveil its eagerly-awaited Heat and Buildings Strategy – the next step towards climate-proofing our homes – later this month.
With heat and buildings responsible for a hefty 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and a greater impact on everyday life than virtually any other emissions source, it is vital that the government gets this right first time.
The strategy will be the first of its kind in the UK to cover both energy efficiency and heating together and presents a one-off opportunity to make decarbonised dwellings a reality. And one of the measures most likely to grab the headlines will be an end date for the sale of fossil fuel boilers. Fossil fuel heating clearly has no place in a low or no-carbon home, and its phasing out will be critical to the UK’s net zero goals.
This does beg the question: are we ready with alternatives?
The answer is absolutely yes. There are exciting new developments in the world of hydrogen heating and Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR).
There are already measures to ramp up heat pump installations, building on potential in new homes in the Future Homes Standard, and the government’s pledge to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
We think the logical place to start is with new builds, which will give the clean heat industry the perfect opportunity to begin climate proofing tens of millions of homes.
A fast-track route to incorporating renewables that is cost-effective
The good news is that incorporating renewables doesn’t have to be challenging.
With the ever increasing need for MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) systems, for example, MiTek’s Posi-Joist provides a perfect and simple solution that just isn’t possible with traditional alternative solid timber products.
Posi-Joist offers a number of benefits, including easy access for the installation and maintenance of services in the floor zone. Already widely in use, Posi-Joists are proving their value in enabling the installation of solar panels and heat source pumps with the minimum of fuss.
For example, McLaren Construction chose it for a development of 110 luxury apartments and houses in Putney, London, for its flexibility in accommodating extensive MVHR routing. The brief was to construct very energy efficient buildings with large, open rooms, while keeping building mass to a minimum, and using ventilation systems providing constant fresh air.
MiTek’s dedicated services team not only designed the Posi-Joist system but also, with the help of 3D design, ensured that the MVHR ductwork was able to traverse the floors of the luxury apartments and houses while maximising the living space in the buildings.
Modern design and build approaches like this will make sure that whatever the government announces in its strategy, we will be able to continue to deliver what’s needed to make introducing renewable-sourced heating and hot water systems simple, straightforward and cost-effective.