The story of the 'Smiths' in their 1930's semi

Residential housing accounts for more than a quarter of the UK’s primary energy consumption. This is primarily in the form of space heating (typical 3 bedroom UK house 20,000 kWh per annum) with electrical demands being much lower at around 4,000 kWh per annum. The gradual tightening of building regulations means that modern housing consumes significantly less than buildings constructed even twenty years ago However, the turnover of housing stock occurs over a very long timescale in the UK. This creates a legacy problem where modern building regulations will not make a significant impact on the overall housing portfolio for many decades. Microgeneration technologies must therefore address both new build and existing housing to make a major contribution to CO2 reductions.

In order to appropriately implement microgeneration technologies into a housing development, the available resources as well as site specific constraints need to be understood. Furthermore, user behaviour plays a major role in the performance of microgeneration systems. As demonstrated by the animation of the ‘Smith’s house’ below, uninformed user behaviour can outweigh the benefits achieved by microgeneration systems.

This work formed a part of the FP6 IDCOP research project which focused on energy and buildings.

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Posted in June, 2007