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Thanks to the 17 now finished E=0 pilot homes, the Energiesprong solution in the UK has taken another step towards scaling up. These homes are the first of the total 155 households set to benefit from the rollout during 2019.
The new Nottingham Energiesprong pilot radically improved 17 homes, comprising of 10 bungalows and 7 two-bedroom, three-storey houses. The formerly hard to heat homes have now new highly insulated outside walls and windows, a solar roof, a state of the art heating and energy system, plus monitoring equipment to verify actual energy performance. Residents benefit from a total home comfort upgrade whilst continuing to pay, on average, the same or less than they were paying before.
The 17 homes are a follow up on the first pilot in the UK unveiled in Nottingham in December 2017 that received very positive feedback from residents.
The positive impacts and the potential to regenerate the neighbourhood led Nottingham Councillors to support the upgrading of a further 155 homes in 2019. Nottingham has recently declared that they will be Carbon Neutral by 2028– this is one of the most ambitious city targets in the UK. Councillor Sally Longford says that “achieving our carbon neutral target by 2028 needs a rapid scaling up of retrofit. It is really crucial that we ensure that fuel bills are reduced and that homes are warm and comfortable.” Nottingham City Homes Chief Executive, Nick Murphy, added: “This rollout will really add to the regeneration of neighbourhoods across the city. We are proud to be supporting the council in achieving their carbon neutral commitment by finding innovative ways to retrofit our homes”
Melius Homes, who also realised the first pilots together with Studio Partington, have speed up time on site and reduce costs. For examples roof units are now being manufactured offsite. This makes the work faster, and ultimately aims to remove the need for scaffold. Also, the prefabricated wall panels are being built with windows & doors already in and fixings and flashings are redesigned to speed up installation. A new controls package is being developed to allow better optimisation of performance. On top of that internal M&E fixtures are being assembled before being retrofitted to reduce disruption and ensure faster delivery.
The rollout includes clusters of homes with communal energy centres with ground source heat pumps fed by electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs. Battery and thermal storage help make the most of solar energy captured onsite.
Melius Homes is pressing ahead to set up its own factory to create a vertically integrated supply chain to enable more rapid cycles of continuous improvement for net zero energy retrofits. The pilot has allowed the company to refine their design to manufacture process with a digital workflow which will enable them to quickly start manufacturing their bespoke wall and roof modules.
David Adams, technical director Melius Homes said: “We are very excited to be setting up our new factory in Nottingham. The pilot has allowed us to test and refine our processes and we are confident that we can now start to scale up rapidly. We have also recently expanded our team with 5 apprentices and are currently looking for more local recruits to help us in the factory.”
Nottingham City Council has secured over £5 million through the European Regional Development Fund (2014-20), with its Deep Retrofit Energy Model project, to support this rollout. Interreg NWE’s E=0 is assisting with the cost of retrofitting the pilot homes.