January 16, 2015Energy Efficient Homes

Energy efficient homes


If you have decided to build a new house, you will find there is much to think about. How will you finance it? Can I find a suitable plot? Bungalow or two storey? Etc.

Amongst all of this there is real concern over energy prices and what the future holds, rightly so. you may well have seen Grand Designs where the emphasis seems to focus on producing low energy houses often laden with all singing and dancing technology.

People often have different reasons or motives for wanting to build a low energy house or an eco-house, for some it’s a way of doing their bit, showing an awareness of climate change and building a house that uses little or no fossil fuels. For others its simply about saving money, yes it may cost a little more to build but over the piece it will be cost effective, it’s even possible to build what is termed an ‘energy plus house’ this is a house that generates more energy from renewable sources over a year than it consumes.

But what really are the ingredients for building an efficient house?

Your Architect/Technologist in Aberdeen, Dundee or frankly anywhere else can talk you through the principles and concepts of building a Low energy house

There are a few quite different and specific parts to this, the first one that we will deal with concerns the fabric of the building sometimes termed ‘fabric first construction’ this is where the building has been super insulated and built as air-tight as possible (this avoids unwanted draughts) high performance windows and doors are fitted usually coupled with a HRVU (Heat recovery ventilation unit). This type of construction ensures a comfortable environment with excellent indoor air quality at the same time uses a fraction of the energy a conventional house uses for heating.

Another very important aspect is the orientation of the building, in other words how the building sits on the site is it making the most of the free heat and energy that the sun provides!

This brings us on to technology, there is no doubt that the correct use of technology to provide electricity, hot water and heating by Renewable sources can be very beneficial.

Whilst you Architect/Technologist won’t be a Renewable energy specialist they should have a good handle on this and be able to guide you through the various options that are available.


There is so much more we could discuss on the subject and have only given a very basic overview in this post.

The Key Ingredients

  1. Fabric First
  2. Building orientation
  3. Renewable technology


In the next posts we will touch on this subject further, we will look at the specifics of ‘Fabric first construction’ and look at how ‘Passivhaus’ leads the way in this method of construction.  We will also discuss why orientation is critical.

Renewable technology can be a minefield for the inexperienced, we will focus on what incentives are available to install renewable technology, what type of renewable technology is available and discuss what type of renewable technology a typical house might have.

You will no doubt want to do your own research on these subjects but please remember that if you have decided to build a sustainable house look for an Architect/Technologist who has a sound knowledge of these principle and can guide you through process.

Happy reading.