SOLCER “Zero Carbon” House Wins “Innovation in Sustainability” Award

Prompted by last Friday’s bombshell from Westminster we bring you this only slightly stale news about an award winning “Zero Carbon House” developed by the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University. The building does incorporate energy storage so we’re still on topic, and here’s a video that reveals how the “SOLCER House” manages to generate more energy than it uses, averaged over a calendar year:

As a Cardiff University press release revealed less than a month ago:

In a bid to meet tough targets for zero carbon housing, Professor Phil Jones and his team from Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture developed the first low-cost energy positive house.

Designed and constructed as part of the Wales Low Carbon Research Institute’s (LCRI) SOLCER project, the house is the first to combine reduced energy demand, building integrated renewable energy supply and energy storage.

Professor Jones said: “We are proud of our house, and delighted to win this Award. Governments across the world, including the UK, have set a target of achieving zero carbon housing by 2019. We have to rise to that challenge and come-up with innovative new ways to build the homes of the future.”

The ‘Innovation in Sustainability’ Award, sponsored by leading law firm Geldards and IP Group, recognises the team’s outstanding contribution to the environment.

The SOLCER House is in the news again today, since the official launch is currently taking place near Bridgend in South Wales. According to the BBC:

Designers at Cardiff University say they have constructed the sort of house George Osborne once described as impossible. The chancellor scrapped a requirement for new homes to be zero carbon by 2016 because he said it would prove too expensive, but Cardiff University say they have built a house that exports more power to the grid than it uses, and crucially they say the cost fell within the normal budget for social housing.

A government spokesman said house builders needed to be given more time to develop low energy homes.

The house took just 16 weeks to construct and cost £1,000 per sq m – that’s within the range for social housing of £800 to £1,000 per sq m, the designers said. In future, they say its owners will make money from selling excess energy.

Here’s a slightly longer video that uses time-lapse photography to reveal how the house was constructed over those 16 weeks:

As the original press release concluded:

The story of the SOLCER house will be documented in academic journals and conferences, the project was supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The award was presented to Professor Phil Jones; Dr Joanne Patterson; Ester Coma (Welsh School of Architecture) and Andrew Davies (SIPs Wales) by Andrew Evans, Partner, Geldards Law Firm.

Do you suppose that George Osborne and David Cameron are qualified to comprehend academic architectural journals?

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