Mitsubishi Electrics award-winning, low carbon Ecodan® residential heating system is to be fitted to the Osborne Demonstration House on the BRE Innovation Park, to bring the house up to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
A 5kW unit was initially installed at the house in time for the BRE Insite exhibition held at the beginning of June 2009, and the unit could be plumbed into the Eco-home to replace the condensing boiler currently in the kitchen, freeing up further space for wall units.
The Osborne House was designed by Baily Garner Architects as an example of a flexible, contemporary, adaptable and economic home. It was built in one and a half days in July 2006 on the Innovation Park, near Watford and is based on an adaptable combination of structural insulated panels.
This makes the building exceptionally quick to construct and very energy efficient, with the Osborne House requiring just one third of the energy for heating and cooling required by a house constructed to the 2006 Building Regulations.
The house is currently heated by underfloor heating and has heat recovery ventilation and solar thermal hot water circulation, electric skirting board heating and temperature control taps.
This is already a very sustainable home but adding an Ecodan air source heat pump takes it from Code Level 3 to 4 in one easy step,
Ecodan is a modern air source heat pump that can provide all the heating and hot water a home needs. It uses advanced inverter-driven technology taken from the air conditioning industry, to deliver efficiency levels that are 300% greater than a gas condensing boiler. It also works with both radiators or underfloor heating systems and can be retro-fitted into properties that have been thermally upgraded.
Ecodan harvests renewable energy from the surrounding air so that for every 1kW of electricity it consumes, 3kW or more of heating energy is supplied, explained Halliwell.
The system, which is available in three sizes to suit anything from a small flat to a large semi-detached property, is accredited under the Governments Microgeneration Scheme, making it eligible for a £900 installation grant.
It can help lower an average homes CO2 emissions by up to 50% and reduce running costs by at least 30% over modern gas boilers. Savings are even greater over older gas boilers, oil, LPG and direct electric heating systems.