Ditchling new build

Ditchling new build house

A blank canvas for downsizing couple

Designing and building a home from scratch is one way of making sure that your house incorporates the energy saving and renewable energy measures you need. These Sussex residents were looking to downsize to an energy efficient house with room to cultivate their own vegetables. When they failed to find the right home, they opted to design and build.

The result is a spacious modern airtight house with under floor heating, triple glazing and high levels of roof and cavity wall insulation above those required by UK building regulations. An air source heat pump delivers heat and hot water, with under floor heating on both levels and a wood burning stove is used during the winter to make the open plan living area even cosier. The house also features energy efficient appliances and lighting. The homeowners have also invested in a rainwater harvesting system for their garden and produce.

The air source heat pump attracts grant aid for seven years through the Renewal Heat Incentive (RHI), making this an attractive and sustainable heating option. The owners have also installed a solar thermal system to provide hot water. Although the house is much larger than the average UK property, its energy usage is modest for its size with net carbon dioxide emissions amounting to 6 tonnes.

Case study reproduced with kind permission of Lewes Eco Open Houses and the homeowner.