Kingspan Insulation has helped Barratt Developments to achieve level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) for its ‘Barratt Green House’, an innovatively designed home which could spark a revolution in UK housebuilding.
The prototype house, built at the BRE’s Innovation Park in Watford, is the first level six home to be built by a volume housebuilder in response to the government’s zero carbon target for housing; and it is so green it will qualify for stamp duty exemption.
The Barratt Green House represents Kingspan’s second contribution to groundbreaking trials in zero carbon living, the company having developed the first ever CSH level six home, the Kingspan Lighthouse, only a few metres away on the same site.
Outwardly, the Barratt Green House is of a more conventional design compared to the Lighthouse but, like the Lighthouse, benefits from Kingspan’s market-leading technology with 180mm K5 EWB premium performance rigid phenolic insulation beneath a solid shell, creating a wall envelope with a U-value of 0.10W/m/K.
Added to this, Kingspan Styrozone, a high performance rigid extruded polystyrene insulant, provides insulation for the pre-cast floor slabs; and Kingspan Thermaroof TR27 LPC/FM rigid urethane insulation, which is LPCB approved to LPS1181 Part 1 (for built-up cladding systems for use as the external envelope of the building), reduces heat loss from the roof.
BRE’s James Honour explained why insulation will play such a major role in the homes of the future. He said:
"The Code for Sustainable Homes has inspired some pioneering examples such as the two Code Level 6 houses demonstrated at our Innovation Park. Insulation levels are a key part of energy efficiency and the Code. They have always been the most logical first priority to achieve improved occupant comfort, energy cost savings and investment payback periods.
"The golden age of cheap, reliable, fossil-fuelled energy is over. Credit crunch pressures and the vital 2050 carbon emission targets herald a historic turning point in our approach to building thermal performance and it is now essential that domestic energy efficiency best practice measures are urgently applied to new and existing housing.
"In recent years CO2 emissions and fuel poverty have become vital issues of growing concern requiring immediate action. There has never been a better time for robust energy saving than now. "
The Barratt Green House was designed by architects Gaunt Francis and will be subjected to rigorous testing over a two year period before potentially becoming the blueprint for eco-Barratt housing of the future.
Other features of the award-winning three storey, three bedroom family home include: an air sourced heat pump, solar hot water; rainwater harvesting and a revolutionary clothes drying system which will make standard household appliances such as tumble driers obsolete.
Building the Green House has given Barratt invaluable insights into how zero carbon homes could be constructed and the design is likely to be applied to the company’s developments across the country.