Energy Efficiency/Eco Homes

Self-build eco homes for energy efficient living

While the style of the house is often what leads people to build their own home, one thing that we find at the top of the wish list for many self-builders, is to minimise their environmental impact. This can be anything from superior levels of insulation to reduce carbon and save on energy bills, right up to a complete eco-home that meets Passivhaus standards.

Timber is the most sustainable form of construction, with the lowest embodied carbon of any building material. Structural timber benefits from being the only organic and naturally renewable material, whilst minimising energy consumption during the manufacturing process.

These environmental advantages continue throughout the life of the home, providing self-build energy efficiency and offering a significant reduction in energy consumption. Not only is this better for the environment, but it will also reduce long term energy bills by 40%; an important issue as energy prices continue to creep up. This level of environmental performance also has the additional advantage of meeting both current and future regulations with regards to domestic buildings’ energy performance.

Reducing energy consumption is a UK government priority – and, due to its natural insulating properties, timber is the ideal solution in the house building market. Building energy-efficient homes is the first crucial step to reaching zero carbon, and a fabric first approach is one of the fastest and most cost-effective routes to achieving this. Fabric first solutions achieve energy efficiency through external building envelopes that do not rely on additional micro-renewable technologies. These solutions make self-build homes more affordable, practical and easy to maintain. They offer optimal thermal performance while saving energy and reducing carbon footprint.

All UK residential buildings are assessed under Standard Assessment Procedures (SAP). For self- builders, your project needs to meet the standards laid out by Building Regulations, and using SAP is the only way to meet the requirements. Our fabric first approach to energy efficiency enables tailored insulation solutions that comply with SAP and calculation requirements.

The SAP is the methodology used by the Government to assess and compare the energy and environmental performance of dwellings. Its purpose is to provide accurate and reliable assessments of dwelling energy performances that are needed to underpin energy and environmental policy initiatives

Air-tightness

When it comes to self-build energy efficiency, airtightness is a crucial consideration. A building with poor airtightness loses a significant amount of heat as warm air escapes, leading to expensive heating bills, while warm, damp air leaking into the fabric of a building also causes condensation, which can weaken building materials.

To avoid this, current Building Regulations specify a minimum airtightness of 10m3/h/m2. A Frame Technologies system can easily exceed this by achieving airtightness level of 3m3/h/m2. With the need to control air leakage as defined in Approved Document L of the Building Regulations, we supply effective barriers to assist in the reduction of air leakage that include:

  • Membranes and/or tapes for sealing joints or apertures around building services
  • Airtightness detailing in critical areas such as intermediate floor to external wall panels
  • Battens to form service zones and reduce the need for penetration through the barriers
  • OSB sheathing on internal faces of external walls that are then taped to provide excellent results

Self-build energy efficiency

Whether you’re looking to design a carbon-neutral house with solar panels, a heat pump or biomass boiler; a low-impact home made with only natural and recycled materials or a home that meets Passivhaus standards, we can help. And crucially, there is no need to sacrifice on the style of your home in a bid to be sustainable.

Our experts are always on hand to help identify the best energy-efficient timber solutions for your project. Get in touch and we can offer you tailored advice for your self-build energy efficient home project.

We can work with you from preliminary drawings, right through to completion of the house