Over the bank holiday I dropped in to see how the clients for our low energy house are getting on. They've been in residence for a good few months now and it was great to see the house in operation as a home.
The property is going to be open to visitors as part of the programme of tours arranged during September 2013 by West Bridgford Eco Houses- if you want to visit check out their blog post about the house.
All the energy saving features are behaving well, although it is too early yet to get statistical feedback on performance. The basic principle is to make good use of passive solar gains from the south and trap the heat in the the high thermal mass of the building, inside a highly insulated jacket. Overheating is prevented by the thermal mass, which evens out temperature highs and lows, and by effective use of shading on the south facing windows. The other important factor is to control drafts, and the build quality here is exceptionally good.
The really gratifying thing to see was that the house is working well as a home for our clients- it's clearly a comfortable, welcoming and relaxed place to live.