Key design elements and achievements
The starting point in the CarbonLight Homes design process was to maximise daylight. Through extensive modelling, the architects at the London-based firm HTA achieved an excellent minimum average daylight factor of 5% throughout the house.
The homes’ window-to-floor ratio is 1:4 and includes an impressive view of the sky. The many façade and roof windows are equipped with blinds and shutters to keep daylight levels and temperatures comfortable no matter the weather or season.
An efficient hybrid ventilation system
The CarbonLight Homes rely on natural and mechanical ventilation to ensure a comfortable indoor climate full of fresh air year round.
In the summer, natural ventilation is used for cooling and to create air movement that pushes stale air out, brings fresh air in, and maintains good levels of thermal comfort. Together with external sun screening, natural ventilation also ensures a comfortable room temperature. Here, the many façade and roof windows play a key role – particularly in the three-storey atrium around the stairs, where the windows allow fresh air to circulate both across and in a stack effect. And in the summer, the windows can be opened and the homes cooled through purge ventilation.
During the winter, a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery supplements the natural ventilation system, extracting heat from the kitchen and bathrooms and recycling it into the home to reduce the demand on the heating system.
Minimal energy consumption
The sun provides nearly all of the energy for the CarbonLight Homes’ hot water and heating, and the houses are designed to reduce fossil fuel energy (such as electricity) to a minimum.
With their solar collectors and air-to-water heat pumps, the CarbonLight Homes achieve a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions. The remaining 30% of emissions are offset through agreements with the local government to improve the energy efficiency of other homes in the area. This ensures that the CarbonLight Homes surpass their required 100% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Intelligent, automated controls
The CarbonLight Homes’ windows, solar screening and heating systems are controlled by the sophisticated, automated Building Management System, which reduces energy consumption and ensures a healthy indoor climate.