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So I'm looking for a larger place for a family of four with one EV (Exeter) and have seen all the Fully Charged films etc on EVs, solar panels, heat pumps, thermal/phase change batteries. I'm keen to make my next home low carbon and low running cost.

At present we have Heritage Homes building a quite expensive estate of modern homes supposedly zero carbon. The first phases were triple glazed, mono-pitched roofs, underfloor heating, insulated garages (weird). But they all use gas boilers and later phases are now only using double glazing (which appear to have trickle vents). One could rip the boilers out in favour of a heat pump/thermal battery combo if you had any cash left.

Next there is a small site with a resolution to grant planning subject to completion of S.106 agreement for an 'even more' zero carbon estate by an outfit from Cornwall called Verto Homes. This looks a better spec as it used a low carbon fabric build, mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system, underfloor heating, solar panels, car chargers approach (unsure of full spec bit I'd be surprised if it used gas). Whether it gets built with the current situation is uncertain, or what the cost would be. Planning docs suggest an extra 20k extra on a normal build. These are to be 'Smart Homes' so you can control heat, light, music, power, maybe car charging and probably other stuff that is nice but maybe unnecessary.

Or you take a new build home that offers underfloor heating and work on upgrading from there.

Or you take a much older home and try and upgrade with much cost and hassle.

Anyway, what would be the ideal setup to get as close to zero carbon and v low running cost? I'm imagining a four bed house here. Solar PV definitely. Heat pump definitely (but air v ground source?). Thermal battery definitely (preferable/more useful than a pricey electric battery?). Smart car charger (so Zappi) definitely. Induction cooker definitely. Gas boiler necessary to back up the above? Underfloor heating sounds like its a better fit than radiators for the above? As I'm unlikely to be self building, things like passive solar design are unlikely to be an option as its a case of get what you're given. This would have been an obvious winner, as would fabric first approach and reducing thermal bridging.

Triple glazing worth it over double?

There are some new estates here that are using District heating. I'm nervous of these as they are presently unregulated (thoughbI hear on twitter this will likely change) and they aren't yet really powered by green means. Also, some estates have covenenants preventing you from installing things like solar so as to protect the income stream for the network operator I think. How annoying is that?

And finally, why aren't there more builders out there pushing this stuff forward? All I see is gas central heating in new builds everywhere, maybe with the option of a few token PV panels if you ask nicely.
 

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Have you looked at the passivhaus standard?
This could be considered ideal in terms of carbon minimisation however they are very specialist, difficult to achieve and you won’t find large house builders building to the standard.
A compromise between passivhaus and traditional build would be modular construction. This allows for well insulated homes that require little heating. Although this has been around for years there aren’t many building using this method.
On the last point, it ultimately comes down to cost. Unless its regulated or a planning requirement house builders will stick with the tried and tested methods to maximise efficiency and profit. The Government has previously mooted placing a requirement for new to be built without gas heating but who knows if/when this will happen
 

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Have you looked at the passivhaus standard?
This could be considered ideal in terms of carbon minimisation however they are very specialist, difficult to achieve and you won’t find large house builders building to the standard.
A compromise between passivhaus and traditional build would be modular construction. This allows for well insulated homes that require little heating. Although this has been around for years there aren’t many building using this method.
On the last point, it ultimately comes down to cost. Unless its regulated or a planning requirement house builders will stick with the tried and tested methods to maximise efficiency and profit. The Government has previously mooted placing a requirement for new to be built without gas heating but who knows if/when this will happen
I reckon the best answer is to buy as plot of land and import a pre-fabricated Pasivhaus from Scandinavia or Germany, getting a local builder to do the ground work and assemble it. Probably very expensive but much more effective than messing about with an existing sub-standard building. Also hard to find a plot.

That has been my ultimate dream for many years but I've never had the money and now don't have the energy to organise it either. So I hope that you acheive your ideal house - good luck!!
 

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And I love the look and smell of a log fire.
My step-son, who is a Green Party councilor, has a lovely woodburner in his front room. I have carefully avoided telling him that the polution it creates is equivalent to 2 HGVs driving up and down his street.
In return he carefuly avoids telling me how I should be a vegan.

It has taken a few years to reach this happy state of understanding.
 

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So I'm looking for a larger place for a family of four with one EV (Exeter) and have seen all the Fully Charged films etc on EVs, solar panels, heat pumps, thermal/phase change batteries. I'm keen to make my next home low carbon and low running cost.

At present we have Heritage Homes building a quite expensive estate of modern homes supposedly zero carbon. The first phases were triple glazed, mono-pitched roofs, underfloor heating, insulated garages (weird). But they all use gas boilers and later phases are now only using double glazing (which appear to have trickle vents). One could rip the boilers out in favour of a heat pump/thermal battery combo if you had any cash left.

Next there is a small site with a resolution to grant planning subject to completion of S.106 agreement for an 'even more' zero carbon estate by an outfit from Cornwall called Verto Homes. This looks a better spec as it used a low carbon fabric build, mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system, underfloor heating, solar panels, car chargers approach (unsure of full spec bit I'd be surprised if it used gas). Whether it gets built with the current situation is uncertain, or what the cost would be. Planning docs suggest an extra 20k extra on a normal build. These are to be 'Smart Homes' so you can control heat, light, music, power, maybe car charging and probably other stuff that is nice but maybe unnecessary.

Or you take a new build home that offers underfloor heating and work on upgrading from there.

Or you take a much older home and try and upgrade with much cost and hassle.

Anyway, what would be the ideal setup to get as close to zero carbon and v low running cost? I'm imagining a four bed house here. Solar PV definitely. Heat pump definitely (but air v ground source?). Thermal battery definitely (preferable/more useful than a pricey electric battery?). Smart car charger (so Zappi) definitely. Induction cooker definitely. Gas boiler necessary to back up the above? Underfloor heating sounds like its a better fit than radiators for the above? As I'm unlikely to be self building, things like passive solar design are unlikely to be an option as its a case of get what you're given. This would have been an obvious winner, as would fabric first approach and reducing thermal bridging.

Triple glazing worth it over double?

There are some new estates here that are using District heating. I'm nervous of these as they are presently unregulated (thoughbI hear on twitter this will likely change) and they aren't yet really powered by green means. Also, some estates have covenenants preventing you from installing things like solar so as to protect the income stream for the network operator I think. How annoying is that?

And finally, why aren't there more builders out there pushing this stuff forward? All I see is gas central heating in new builds everywhere, maybe with the option of a few token PV panels if you ask nicely.
Stop wasting your time with all the silly ideas/options and just build a Passihaus. EV charging can just be done by modern in the car timer which all modern EVs have to get low carbon Agile type charging.
 

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Stop wasting your time with all the silly ideas/options and just build a Passihaus. EV charging can just be done by modern in the car timer which all modern EVs have to get low carbon Agile type charging.
As per TomH, passivhaus is what you want, end of.
 

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Your first step should be to find a decent architect: one that has experience in delivering Passivhaus home projects in your locality (actually there a quite a few). A decent architect will make sure your building/hone gets free passive solar heating as part of the design, without getting summer oveheating. Establishing that you will have a Zappi from the outset is seriously approaching this from the wrong end of the stick.

A piecemeal approach as per your first posting will just result in a piecemeal outcome: hence involve a professional and insist on the Passivhaus certification.
 

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I think I agree that Passivhaus is the right solution in an ideal world. However, in the real world I think the right solution is to take an existing home and make it energy efficient. That's the approach I'm trying to take, however haphazardly. So buy a good structural sound home and improve it - with insulation, solar, battery, EV charger, heat pump, etc.

With regard to the point about ASHP vs GSHP I've been told that GSHP is only cost effective for very large and high consuming homes (e.g. stately homes) and for everything else go ASHP. That should be doubly true if you get your home anywhere near Passivhaus.
 
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I think I agree that Passivhaus is the right solution in an ideal world. However, in the real world I think the right solution is to take an existing home and make it energy efficient. That's the approach I'm trying to take, however haphazardly. So buy a good structural sound home and improve it - with insulation, solar, battery, EV charger, heat pump, etc.

With regard to the point about ASHP vs GSHP I've been told that GSHP is only cost effective for very large and high consuming homes (e.g. stately homes) and for everything else go ASHP. That should be doubly true if you get your home anywhere near Passivhaus.
I think the OP has a blank sheet of paper. Having gone through the expense, disruption and compromised outcomes of upgrading and renovations, I would thoroughly recommend new build to a proper std as an alternative.
 
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