The University of Nottingham is helping to battle climate change on the home front with the construction of a new experimental house on campus that will cut ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions by 60 per cent.
University experts from the School of the Built Environment have designed the Stoneguard C60 research house, to help guide the architects and builders of the next 50 years.
Staff and students from the school will occupy and work in the three-storey house, and monitor every aspect of day-to-day life, such as heating, lighting, ventilation, energy and water consumption, over the next 20 years.
Features of the house include an earth-air heat exchanger system to improve thermal comfort, a grey water management system to re-use shower water for flushing and a rainwater-harvesting system to supply water for the washing machine, shower, gardens and external washing. There are also sunpipes to maximise use of natural light, passive and active solar heating and a ventilation/heat recovery system.
The C60 house aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent compared to typical homes, meeting the target for 2050 set out in the government’s Energy White Paper of 2003.
News of the latest sustainable building project at the university comes on the heels of a major report by Sir Nicholas Stern, which suggests that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20 per cent. But taking action now would cost just one per cent of global gross domestic product, according to the 700–page study, released on October 30.
Many companies are bringing their expertise under one roof for the first time, to provide different aspects of the building including the roof, internal walls, rainwater management system, glazing, heating controls and air cooling. Stoneguard, a construction company, is constructing the house using its steel framing system Protec, and managing the project to completion.