The UK-based architectural firm Hewitt Studios designed based Limpley Stoke Eco-House, which is a luxury home packed top to bottom with sustainable technologies. It can certainly serve as an example of what is possible and proves that living green does not need to mean sacrificing any of the comforts we’ve grown used to.
Limpley Stoke Eco-House measures 4,305 square feet (400 sq m) and includes a variety of green features including a solar power array, passive ventilation, a rainwater collection system, and an EV charging point. Furthermore, it was also constructed largely from locally sourced renewable materials, such as the prefab timber wall panels lining the second floor walls, which were made from sustainably grown wood. Straw bales were used as the main insulation material, while the concrete making up the ground floor is made using pulverized fuel ash, a waste product of coal-fired power stations and has superb insulation properties. Many of the home’s section were also prefabricated off-site.
Limpley Stoke Eco-House has a near airtight envelope, which allows for the maintenance of a very stable indoor temperature. To aid ventilation the builders also installed a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system, which works by expelling unwanted warm moist air, and drawing in new fresh air from outside. The air pulled in from the outside passes through a heat exchanger system, which is sufficient to warm the house. Passive natural ventilation was also set up.
In the winter months, the home is warmed by a log burner stove. Since the home is located near a woodland area a sustainable source of firewood is practically at the owner’s doorstep. The solar power system consists of a sunshade to which 2 kW solar photovoltaic panels are affixed, as well as a roof top solar water system, which heats the water needed by the household. The home is also connected to the grid, since solar power alone is not capable of taking care of all electrical power needs of the occupants.
Limpley Stoke Eco-House also features a green roof planted with low-maintenance plants that provide the home with an additional layer of insulation. The roof also houses a rainwater harvesting system that includes an onboard filtration system and provides enough water to irrigate the green roof and garden. The garage is equipped with an EV charging point, which uses solar power to charge the owner’s car. According to the architects, the annual estimated CO2 emissions of the home are 774 kg (1,706 lb) of CO2 per year, and the estimated energy demands are 4,880 kWh per year.