Tuesday, January 05, 2010

RuralZED zero carbon homes

I have mentioned zero carbon homes a couple of times on this blog.

The first one I mentioned way back in July 06 was the Earthips made from recycled materials. See article. The problem with Earthships is that they are lot of work to build.

This problem is solved by the land arks and garden arks that I wrote about in in July 09. See article. The arks are ready made and can simply be placed anywhere. The problem is that are very small and will never be a realistic replacement for the average family home.

Luckily ZEDFactory, the company behind the land ark has a solution, the RuralZED. An upgradable 3 bedroom house that is a pleasant realistic family home. It ranges from from level 3 to level 6 on the code for sustainable homes. Level 6 is the maximum level and is assigned to true zero carbon homes. The RuralZED can even surpass level 6 becoming carbon negative by using a vertical axis wind turbine to produce an excess of electricity that can be sold back to the grid.

The name RuralZed comes from rural in reference to the fact that 70% of UK homes are in rural low density setting of less than 50 houses per hectare and ZED (Zero Energy Demand).

The feature and technologies in the full level 6 house are very impressive: -

  • Southern side of the roof covered with 21 180 Watt PV panels
  • 2 Water heating solar thermal panels
  • Vertical axis wind turbine
  • Northern side of the roof is green using sedum
  • Northern side of the roof used for rain water harvesting for non potable water
  • Wind catchers to continually supply fresh air in all rooms
  • Air sent to rooms warmed by heat exchangers that reclaim heat from outbound air.
  • Internal materials include stone and high density wood for thermal mass
  • All light fittings use LED's
  • All taps use aerating low flow fittings
  • Entire house uses 300mm of rockwool insulation
  • AAA high efficiency appliances such as an induction hob
  • Entire southern house is a pleasant glazed sun space allowing solar heat capture
  • Passive heating of space and water can be augmented by wood pellet burner
  • The house is REALLY nice

  • The company site is here

    Here are some pics: -


    Trudy said...

    The option to put the house on stilts also looks good, not just handy for flood plains but also building on areas which are sloped.

    Size is also pretty good, 10m x 6m floor plan, excluding the sunspace is compact but usable. Downstairs looks good for those with mobility issues.

    Colin Payne said...

    The stilts option also allows the space under the house to be used as a car port and storage area.

    The downloads section of the website has a full brochure in pdf format. It is very detailed and very interested.

    Sharon said...

    Downstairs looks bad if you have a mobile inquisitive toddler though! You need solid walls for babygates, he's nearly pulled ours off the wall and where would you put them in an open plan place?

    You cannot just heat a couple of rooms in winter if too open plan.

    Colin Payne said...

    The house uses a wooden frame with lots of wooden pillars that would allow baby gates and additional doors if needed.

    Heating is done with vents feeding pre-heated fresh air to each room the vents can be closed for rooms you don't need to heat. Although the heating is done almost entirely by passive heat collection from the environment so cost is very very low