Reinvents house to demonstrate energy savings through smart technology, fabric improvements and occupant empowerment
BRE’s pioneering future-focused Integer House, built 15 years ago in the UK, has undergone an extensive retrofit and renamed The Smart Home, through a joint BRE and British Gas project. Announcing this, BRE said that the house has been re-equipped with a host of energy-efficient features and functions, making it futuristic.
Launched on October 2 by Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill and former St Albans MP Kerry Pollard, who supported the original project back in 1998, The Smart Home has used, what BRE claimed to be “cutting-edge technology”, design and building techniques, to make it 50% more energy efficient and reportedly halved its carbon emissions, upgrading it from an E to an A/B EPC rating.
BRE gave the retrofit details: An intelligent, whole house living system with occupation sensors for a range of purposes controls the heating, lighting, ventilation, water and security. The latest air source heat pump technology has been integrated to provide heating via app-enabled advanced controls and improvements have been made to the solar thermal water heating and air tightness. It has a new-to-market solar thermal system, and an integrated PV array has been installed into the conservatory glazing to generate most of the energy requirements and shade clear glass against excess heat. A three-mm thick insulating plaster has been applied, finished in heat-reflective paint to improve thermal performance, whilst paint with light-reflective particles on the internal walls increases brightness and reduces lighting needs.
Speaking at the launch, BRE CEO Peter Bonfield said: “The Smart Home will inspire and influence the industry in the same way as it did in its original guise as the Integer House, thanks to our partners, British Gas, and the many others, who have been involved in delivering the project. With the Smart Home we wanted to address a range of issues that relatively recent homes might face, like energy efficiency and overheating, but also look at the next generation of innovations that our existing and new homes and their occupants will benefit from. The project will enable informed decisions to be made about design, products and installation, and how occupants interface with buildings though smart technology.”