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Ramboll unveils carbon neutral house design

Ramboll has delivered what it calls a pioneering sustainable energy solution for a new housing development at Brookwood Farm in Woking, Surrey.

The housing is designed to achieve the exacting standards of Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) which requires a net zero regulated carbon dioxide emission rate at the properties.

William Lacey Group appointed Ramboll and CSH Assessor with a remit to guide the developer in achieving the challenging sustainability objectives while delivering high quality, practical housing.

The Brookwood development presented Ramboll with the opportunity to apply low carbon design to a practical scheme comprising 10 semi-detached two and three bedroom homes and two five-bedroom detached houses. Ramboll’s engineers needed to design the energy saving features within the visual and spatial requirements of the existing planning requirements.

“The Brookwood development is one of the first projects in the UK to meet the stringent requirements of Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes whilst providing the owners ease of use and practical maintenance,” said Ramboll associate Philippa Owen. “This represents a step-change in the way new homes are built and will play a significant role in reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

The CSH was introduced by the government as part of its policy that stipulates that by 2016 every new home needs to be zero-carbon. The CSH is a single national standard which drives the sustainability performance of new homes. It covers performance in nine key areas:

  • Energy and CO2
  • Water
  • Materials
  • Surface water run-off
  • Waste
  • Pollution
  • Health and well-being
  • Management
  • Ecology

In each of these categories, which are weighted according to relative importance, Ramboll’s engineers set performance targets which are considered to be sound best practice and technically feasible but within the capacity of the building industry to supply.

Ramboll placed priority on improving the buildings’ fabric insulation, incorporated renewable technologies and introducing a full range of sustainability measures. These included high levels of insulation using an insulated concrete form system (ICF); low air permeability to reduce unwanted heat loss; high efficiency boilers, reduced water consumption to below 80 litres per person per day through reusing rainwater for washing machines and toilet flushing and the installation of low water consumption sanitary-ware.

The Brookwood development is the beginning of a process to meet the government’s targets for new sustainable homes. Ramboll’s multi-disciplinary expertise has ensured that the group is at the forefront in developing these complex low carbon housing solutions.

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