4.6.09

IBS News

Hanson EcoHouse shows masonry Code 4 benefits
Builders Merchant Journal, 3rd June 2009

Built in 2007 for BRE's Offsite exhibition, the Hanson EcoHouse™ was the first masonry house to achieve Code Level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes with its construction bringing together the latest developments in off-site construction, thermal mass and natural ventilation.

Results from two years of testing have shown that the combination of effective design, sustainable technology and off-site masonry construction has produced a building system that can help achieve the low carbon homes for the future.

This combination has created a house in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained regardless of external conditions. This is ideal for people who spend a lot of time at home, such as those with young children, those who work from home or those who are retired.

Managing director of Hanson's Floors and Precast division Gerry Feenan said: "The data collected now proves our Hanson EcoHouse™ message - "Thermal mass. It works." In fact the figures show that we have over-achieved in terms of our targets for sustainability with the insulation and airtightness provided by the quality of the masonry construction being more than that required to adhere to level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

"For instance, as the rest of the country shivered in heavy snowfalls this winter, data collected at the Hanson EcoHouse™ in February showed that while the external wall temperature varied between a low of -2°C and a high of 11°C, the internal wall temperature remained constant between 18°C and 19°C.

"Similarly, on one of last summer's hottest days, temperatures recorded on the outside west wall exceeded 50°C, but the inside wall temperature remained in the mid 20°Cs."

The constancy in temperature inside was enabled by the capacity of the structure to store both heat in winter and remain cool in summer aided by the natural ventilation system integral to the Hanson EcoHouse's™ design. The eye catching funnel shaped roof creates a natural stack chimney effect, drawing heat up and out via the skylights without the need for electronic ventilation systems.

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