Environmentally Intelligent Extensions

Good Design

Depending on your requirements, we can provide a wide range of environmental adaptations to the overall design, by incorporating and improving the original building’s energy efficiency. We aim to compliment the function of the whole building with intelligent and unifying interventions that minimise energy use and improve comfort.  Every location is different in terms of orientation and shading from existing buildings and trees, we carefully analyse every project taking this into account utilising the sun’s free energy wherever possible, maximising your comfort.

Good Design

At Eco Design Consultants we combine our expertise on environmental architecture with custom designed house extensions to suit your home’s requirements. On every project we listen and consider your needs and provide suggest solutions on how the space can be better used.  This may involve optimising the usability of your home along with optimising passive solar gain and summer shading. We are lucky that the sun is lower in the winter so will come in under well designed shading on the south side, heating the space in winter and shading it in summer.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are sized and positioned to maximise the potential solar gain, whilst balancing the function and aesthetics. We specify windows and doors that have thermal breaks, meaning external cold temperatures cannot bridge to internal areas through their frames. The seals are also important to reduce possibilities of draughts. We would often recommend triple glazing with superior U-values, providing comfortable, condensation free windows, without the need to have a radiator beneath. Thermal bridging can contribute towards a high percentage of heat loss in your home particular in low energy refurbishments.

Windows and Doors

If left unattended cold bridges cause an increased risk of condensation and mould growth.  Through our extensive knowledge and thermal modelling, these risks can be eliminated and these heat losses reduced.

As the insulation levels increase the percentage of heat losses through draughts increase. Increasing the airtightness from 10 to 3 can reduce the heating requirement by over 100%. We have experience in providing airtightness strategies and details to help your builder achieve good airtightness results.

Insulation and materials

Insulating your extension will significantly lower the amount of energy lost from the building envelope, reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.  The problem with many extensions (especially single storey) is that they are built with a high surface to floor area ratio, giving larger areas exposed to the outside. Through careful thought we can minimise this, with compact and usable spaces.  There are many types of insulation and we can help select the appropriate materials for your project, considering health, embodied energy, performance, durability and thickness.

Energy and Cost Saving Fixtures and Fittings

The selection of fixtures and fittings is also important in a low energy home. We can suggest effective water saving products, low energy lighting such as LED or CFL lighting and low energy appliances.  We offer practical solutions to help you save energy and water and minimise the environmental impact of your building project.

Renewable Energy

Once the building fabric has been improved, we can help develop the heating strategy and use of low and zero carbon technologies. We find photovoltaic panels generally work well and are still an economical solution even with the reduced feed-in tariff with 7 -10 year payback.  In remote areas without mains gas, the use of ground source and air source heat pumps may be considered. We can provide a full renewable energy feasibility study on request

Planned Programme of Improvements

It may not be possible or financially viable to carry out all the extension and retrofit measures in one go. By producing a masterplan we can provide long term strategies that work to maximise opportunities and minimise remedial risk. This may include installing internal wall insulation behind your boiler when it is replaced, to avoid the need for a plumber, when internal wall insulation is added later. Consider adding insulation under the ground floor when floorboards are raised to access pipes.

Planned Programme of Improvements

Windows are often not cost effective to replace purely on reducing energy, so unless they need replacing due to deterioration or other reasons, they can be planned to be changed later.  We can provide clever insulation details to ensure that the thermal performance is maximised before and afterwards, and that the windows can be removed and replaced.

‘Double your House for Half the Money’

We aim to unlock the financial potential through extending your home. The recent success of the television showDouble your House for half the Money’ with Sarah Beeny, is an example of how developing your current home, rather than relocating to a larger one, is financially more astute.  By avoiding general moving costs, stamp duty, estate agent fees etc. you retain more money to invest in your dream extension. A good way of comparing the cost of extending to moving is to add the cost of the proposed works to the existing property value and see if you can buy the same space already built for a cheaper price.

By | 2017-07-07T13:11:40+00:00 October 16th, 2012|Design, Residential|0 Comments

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