The Future Home Standard (FHS) of 2025 looks to ensure new homes are producing 75-80% lower carbon emissions. This is in line with the UK government’s overarching objective of transitioning to a net-zero economy by 2050. With the built environment accounting for approximately 25% of the UK’s total emissions, this is a welcome change. The FHS looks to decarbonise new homes by focusing on reducing heat waste. They also encourage the improvement of heating and hot water technologies. This looks to be achieved in part by replacing current technologies with low-carbon alternatives. But what other future environmental design features can you implement to bring your home closer to net-zero?
These future environmental design features essentially involve partially or entirely covering your roof with a layer of vegetation. Living roofs filter carbon dioxide, converting it into oxygen and purifying the air through photosynthesis. This also provides an additional barrier of heat retention for your home. Living roofs also increase the efficiency of solar panels, enabling for more energy to be generated.
With approximately 18% of a home’s total heat energy lost through its windows, Low-E, double glazing, or triple-glazing is a must. The gaps between each window panel are typically filled with Argon or Krypton gas, used to displace the air. This helps to slow or decrease the transfer of temperatures, thus increasing your home’s energy efficiency. To help minimise this further, Low-E glass has a microscopically thin metal oxide coating on the internal surface. More information on low-E glass can be found by clicking here.
Walls, floors, and lofts are all equally guilty of contributing to heat-loss. Sustainable materials you could utilise as insulators include hemp, cellulose spray, sheep’s wool, and more recently, mycelium-based composites.
LED technology has come a long way in becoming a sustainable and affordable alternative to traditional lighting systems. Compared to the more common incandescent filament bulbs, each LED can last as much as 30 times longer. Not only do they last longer, but they’re more durable, take less energy to power, and are just as cheap. Also, LED bulbs produce total CO2 emissions per year of 6 times less than incandescent bulbs. In our opinion as future environmental design specialists, LED lights are a no brainer.
Grey Water Systems
According to the Energy Saving Trust, individuals use an average of 142 litres of water per day. We use water for lots of daily activities, such as washing up, showers, laundry, the list goes on. But how much of these 142 litres could be reused? With the right system in place, reusing ‘grey water’ can cut down your everyday water usage in half. Of course, you won’t want to use this slightly contaminated water for washing your hair. Nevertheless, it is perfectly safe for watering your garden, cleaning your car and windows, and more.
Contact Our Future Environmental Design Experts
At Munday + Cramer, we consider eco-friendly design to be integral to all architectural projects. If this is something you could use some help with, contact our future environmental design specialists today. Call us on 01245 326 200 or send an email over to email@example.com.