The design team’s opinions – Part 1
I have prepared a set of questions to interview the key people involved in the Haringey PassivTerrace project. The first questions are more general and are the same for everybody, more specific questions follow towards the end of each interview.
On 13th July I interviewed my supervisor Dr. Ben Croxford, Course Director of the MSc Environmental Design and Engineering who is dealing with the monitoring of the Haringey PassivTerrace.
Another valuable contribution to the diary were the answers given by Neil Clement, Director for King Shaw Associates who are the consultants for the environmental and building services of this project. Neil believes that only when considerable carbon savings have been achieved at the fabric level, should the technological aspects then be considered.
As mentioned by Ben, a change in the design has been to revert to a minor wet heating system which has been required to offset the residual heat losses.
Both Ben and Neil agree that the members of the team have worked well together, allowing open and stimulating debates in order to overcome the possible problems.
I asked Neil which are the most popular technologies in UK in the retrofit agenda. This was his interesting answer:
“There is in my experience no standard solutions as it is totally driven by clients budgets and aspirations as well as the technical ability of the whole of the design team. In the past few years it there has been concern about actual paybacks on renewable technologies as they have often been quoted as giving much greater rates of return than have been achieved in practice. As a consequence some people have become a little sceptical about them. The introduction of the feed in tariffs this year has significantly changed the potential payback periods and we expect to see a lot more people installing at a domestic level. The potential introduction of the renewable heat initiative next year may also provide a stimulus for further products.”
For this project solar thermal collectors were utilised. Some other technologies were considered and then rejected: wind turbines, earth tubes, ground source heat pumps and PVs. Wind turbines were rejected as the site location had low average wind speeds and they would not provide significant energy to the project. Earth tubes and ground source heat pumps were rejected as the land available for them was insufficient. PVs were rejected because of the high cost ( note that since the introduction of the feed in tariffs the payback periods have significantly reduced).