When it comes to energy saving technology at Northstone, we have explored a number of possibilities since we set out on our journey just 12 months ago.
Northstone want to be at the forefront of sustainable and design technology to benefit residents, communities and the environment and we’re clear on where we’re heading.
While wind turbine, solar and biomass are all different ways to source energy, when it comes to housing, we need to think a little differently to what can be done at a domestic level to make our homes more efficient and cheaper to heat and power.
We’re currently looking at what we can do with thermal insulation. Our designs embrace simplicity, but there’s an incredible amount of detail behind the scenes to make our homes as sustainable as possible. This includes going beyond the current building regulation requirements by making our homes more airtight, and with thicker walls and bigger cavities for insulation and windows strategically positioned at just the front and back to create less openings and better insulation. At Westhoughton, showers will be fitted with systems to recycle heat from warm wastewater back into the boiler, using less gas to heat the home.
We’ve worked hard deliver up to 25% savings on the cost of providing heat and power to a Northstone home per year, in comparison to other new homes, and we will continue to try and be ahead on all of our schemes.
From 2025, the government want to ban gas boilers in new homes and we’re looking at designing homes for the future. Amongst other things, we’re researching air and ground source heat recovery which uses heat from the atmosphere and underground pipes rather than boilers to warm homes. There are financial benefits too with no hefty bills from boiler repairs or servicing. If this research proves positive, we could see this technology to our future developments. Other alternatives include Photovoltaic panels (PV panels) and battery storage which is another route being explored.
Innovation is key to everything we do, which is why we will be installing ‘Smart’ meters. Homeowners will be able to manage their heating and lighting direct from their mobile phone or tablet. All our boilers will have app-based control and the capability to become accustomed to our increasingly busy lives and habits as well as having the ability to save energy where possible, for example – having to work late? Set your lights and boiler to come on slightly later – it saves energy and money.
We are also looking into convenience technology such as an internet delivery-friendly parcel-box in the porch and we will be installing EV ready fuse spurs for fast-charging electric vehicles to suit online shoppers and the step we all need to be making to reduce our carbon footprints.