In the UK, Wales is home to the first carbon positive house. Dubbed the ‘Solcer house’, the property is capable of exporting more energy to the electricity grid than it uses.
Carbon positive moves beyond carbon zero by making additional ‘positive’ or ‘net export’ contributions by producing more energy on site than the building requires and feeding it back to the grid.
The home, situated in Bridgend, west of the Welsh capital Cardiff, features multiple smart energy and green technologies to create a highly efficient, highly insulated property that also incorporates solar panels which generate power for the property.
During the development of the home, a team of designers from Cardiff University used other clean tech solutions such as low-carbon cement, LED lighting, a heat pump and locally sourced material such as Welsh timber.
Energy storage has also been included in the design.
Towards ‘Net Zero’ buildings
According to professor Phil Jones, head of the Solcer project, the Welsh and UK Governments have set targets for ‘nearly zero’ energy buildings by 2020. He said that the new carbon housing can assist in meeting this goal.
He added: “Through this project we have risen to the challenge and used the latest design and technology to build a smart energy positive house.
“This is the first house in the UK that has been purposely built, using a systems approach, to be carbon positive.”
Kevin Bygate, chief executive of the Specific Innovation and Knowledge Centre, a consortium which develops clean building technology said that buildings that can generate, store and release their own renewable energy could be a “game-changer”.
Commenting on the advanced technology employed in the project, Bygate added: “The Solcer house is intentionally built with the best off-the-shelf, affordable technologies, so it proves what’s possible even now – and there’s plenty more technology in the pipeline.”