The British government recently launched a new super stringent green building rating system called The Code For Sustainable Homes. Code Six is the level that all new residences in the UK will be required to achieve in 2016, and is, for all intents and purposes, a requirement that all new homes emit no carbon emissions. Now greenbuilding company ZedFactory has taken it upon themselves to create a code six, zero-emission prefab home. In an attempt to reconceptualize the idea of what a super-efficient home should be, ZEDfactory introduced the RuralZED, which they claim is Britain’s most affordable green prefab home and is also able to meet its strictest energy standards.
The RuralZED is a timber-frame house designed around the idea of easy upgradeability, that uses traditional proven natural materials and construction techniques designed for a minimum lifetime of five generations, and uses technologies and building physics solutions which have been proven on existing ZEDfactory buildings over the past ten years.
RuralZED is a solution to the 70% of UK sites which are built at 50 homes per Ha or less. Flexible masterplan options allowing all orientations with flexible architectural design.
A new way of building homes
RuralZED has a hybrid laminated timber frame, strong enough to support massive walls, floor finishes and ceilings, with flexible masterplan options allowing all orientations with flexible architectural design. The system encourages local variety and materials, with fixed prefabricated kit prices with volume discounts, with options on levels of environmental performance with tried and tested energy and heat services. These are fully integrated with SAP and carbon footprint modelling with full compliance with NHBC and Housing Corporation guidelines.
A new way of selling homes
Your home can now care for you as well as providing shelter. RuralZED has minimised the resources needed to make it. It catches sunlight, wind, fresh air and rain, and minimises energy and water demand from the depleted grid. It can make it easier to breathe, it can open to the garden in summer and it can even power your car or scooter. A RuralZED home will last for at least five generations, becoming your investment in a future that works.
A new way of funding homes
By meeting the government definition of a zero carbon home for private sales, stamp duty relief can fund half the cost of the energy from renewable sources package and the remaining capital cost can be paid for by an energy mortgage. Your energy mortgage payments will be less than a conventional fossil fuel bill, and your home will require only a tiny amount of wood pellets each year, enabling a higher quality of life and a step change reduction in CO2. You will own an aspirational home at a higher level of the Code than offered by the competition. ZEDfactory recommend Code 4 as the best value for affordable homes, with zero carbon spec (Code 6 energy but not for water) providing the best market advantage on private for-sale.
The RuralZED typical urban block (right)shows how the important placemaking agenda can be reconciled with zero carbon energy from renewable sources homes built with a variety of flats, townhouses and terraced homes at a density of around 50 homes / ha.
All homes have enough south facing roof surface clad in photovoltaics to meet most households’ annual electric demand, with solar thermal collectors and shared wood pellet boilers providing renewable heating and hot water. South facing homes enjoy double height sunspaces with retractable shades to maximise the benefits of winter sun, whilst east / west facing units complete the streetscape and provide enclosure to the central garden areas.
Each home has one parking space, with potential access to an electric car club under solar electric canopies in the central mews and well overlooked children’s play space with potential allotments. Central mews properties encourage live/work on site, with options to convert integral garages into studio space.
Encouraging a variety of different plan types, elevational treatments and celebrating local materials allows economies of scale to be achieved with structure and services, whilst allowing individual homes the self expression needed to achieve sustainable communities.
Published with permission of ArchiCentral.