Officially opened this month, the newly refurbished iconic BRE Smart Home has been re-equipped with a host of ultra energy efficient features and functions to bring it in line with current legislation and the next generation of technology available. The BRE worked in partnership with a select group of suppliers including Nationwide Windows, who has been instrumental in making the Smart Home 50% more energy efficient by halving the carbon emissions.
John Whalley, Nationwide Windows’ Managing Director comments:
“The three-bedroom Smart Home was first opened in 1998 as a demonstration home showcasing world leading innovation in design, intelligence, environmental performance and construction processes. A six part BBC series named ‘Dream House’ covered the development. Since then over 5000 people have visited the house and many of the technologies have been adopted into mainstream construction. Over the past 15 years though, building regulations have moved on and the house was starting to look tired.
“In 2013, British Gas took on the building to replicate the aims of demonstrating, in an occupied home, the very latest innovations in building and environmental technologies from around the world to incorporate in the house. Nationwide Windows were chosen as the fenestration partner. Consulted at the design stage, we were responsible for fabricating and installing replacement windows, doors, a sunroom and PV panels, to take the house’s EPC rating from an ‘E’ to an ‘A’ or ‘B’. The PVC-U tilt and turn and casement windows use Eurocell’s Eurologik profile and also feature PVC-U Thermal Inserts manufactured from 100% post-consumer recycled PVC-U. For the house’s sunroom, we overcame the structural damage on the original frame, by stripping it back and completely re-designing and re-erecting a new steelwork system before installing Kawneer aluminium profile.
“We also collaborated with PolySolar in the installation of their unique transparent solar PV glass panels on the 50 degree slanting glass roof. These panels are unique because they absorb ambient and reflective light on both sides and in lower light conditions, and so are effective for longer periods. The glass achieves shading for the conservatory, and a reduction in heat gain and heat loss from the building. The 36 units we installed are rated at 3.3kWp and are estimated to produce on average 3,500kWh per year of electricity, whilst saving 1.8 tons of CO2. Saved income is calculated as £1,200 per year.”
Although only just re-launched, Nationwide Window’s work on the project has already been shortlisted for a prestigious award reaching the finals of the G13 Environmental Initiative of the Year.