The need to build more energy efficient homes is becoming more apparent. While alleviating the damage to our environment is a well-documented reason for doing so, the social and economic benefits of sustainability cannot be underestimated.
Space Group and Arch Homes have completed four new houses in Blyth, Northumberland. Each is equipped with renewable technologies to provide residents with homes so sustainable that their heating and power costs are included in the rent.
The need to reduce tenants’ energy bills was the primary reason behind the commissioning of these ‘Spacehus’ homes. Research undertaken by Arch Homes – a development group run by Northumberland County Council – found that 77,000 families in the North East have experienced energy debt.
Space Group chief executive Rob Charlton said: “There’s been a lot of talk around energy companies failing to pass on lower costs to their customers, and this building model provides an affordable alternative for the region’s families and young working professionals. The aim is to take this model and apply it nationally, which is a really exciting prospect.”
In realising its goals, how Space Group set about heating the buildings’ efficiently was an important factor. A sufficiently sustainable and powerful, yet entirely affordable solution was required.
The Strada is equipped with Jaga’s unique Low-H2O heat exchanger, meaning it is a low-mass, low-water content radiator. This makes it highly responsive to temperature change and helps to cut energy bills by 10% when compared with a standard steel-panel radiator. The Sani Bow towel radiator features a stylish, minimalist design and blends in perfectly with the buildings’ contemporary aesthetics. Because both radiator models are compatible with any low-pressure hot water central heating system, they were the ideal solution.
But the decision to employ Jaga’s renowned heating technology did not just result from the exceptional performance of the radiators. In creating these homes of the future, BIM was utilised throughout the design and building process – and because Jaga can provide Revit-compatible BIM files for its products, Space Group was able to incorporate the radiators into its designs early on.
The advantage of using BIM was that Space Group could virtually build and test every element of the buildings’ performance and construction, with the designs being reinforced with accurate data to help predict its long-term operational performance. It was able to physically see in advance how Jaga’s radiators would help to achieve the aim of sustainably combatting high energy costs.
At a time when building construction and performance is under the spotlight, Jaga’s all-encompassing service and technologically sophisticated product selection can guide specifiers towards sustainable, affordable heating solutions.