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Blog: Sustainability SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Lark Rise

05 June 2019

Sponsored by Temple Group

*** HIGHLY COMMENDED *** Lark Rise - submitted by bere:architects

The UK’s first certified 'Passive House Plus', Lark Rise is an ultra-low energy, all-electric, contemporary home and one of the most advanced high-performance houses in the UK. The 175 sqm, detached, two-bedroom home is situated on a north-west facing slope on the edge of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. Two years of monitoring results found that it generates twice as much energy as it consumes each year, draws 97% less energy from the grid than an average UK home (for all uses including heating) and exports 10 times as much energy as it imports – acting as a micro renewable power station.

Described as ‘game-changing’ by a grid expert and advisor to BEIS, Lark Rise requires just 2% of the energy from the grid compared with a typical UK home. The building demonstrates for the first time in the UK that sustainable buildings can not only be ‘low energy’, reducing the demands on the grid, but significantly reduce peak loads on the grid and be producers and exporters of energy all year round. Building them means they can be the power stations of the future. Furthermore, by combining renewable energy generation, energy storage, and ultra-low-energy building fabric, everyone can smooth out peaks in demand, easing the stress on the National Grid.

In more detail

Lark Rise has a negative energy demand of -35 kWh/m2a, compared with +213.67 kWh/m2 for a typical 85m2 UK home. It achieves substantial energy reductions while maintaining a comfortable and healthy interior environment. The temperature in the house is kept at 20-21 degrees Celsius year-round, while summer overheating is kept to a minimum (overheating to >25 degrees <1% of the time) using natural night-time purge ventilation, high-performance glazing and exposed thermal mass.

Lark Rise is a pathfinder project that demonstrates the potential for a whole new economic system – a Green Technology Revolution - where each house delivers ten times as much energy to the grid as it takes, providing a public service for the national grid and an income for its occupants.

Lark Rise demonstrates that the technology for an exciting, sustainable, responsible future is available now; it is leadership and a lack of willingness to invest that inhibit progress. Long-term investment for future generations is required. Responsible investment requires a new kind of political leadership; caring, intelligent, prepared to address the climate emergency and the needs of future generations and prepared to stand up against lobbyists for old-fashioned, short-term strategies.  

Change

As part of the whole team’s commitment to dissemination and ongoing learning, the monitoring results from the building will be used to improve future projects and share learning with the wider industry.

By demonstrating and prototyping (including monitoring and sharing learning) and streamlining the delivery of low-energy homes, bere:architects hope to make the sustainable construction sector more scalable and more profitable. If this became the norm for UK homes, the environmental, social (e.g. reducing fuel poverty), and health benefits would be enormous; in addition to major benefits to the UK economy and the opportunity for a rapid growth of significant numbers of attractive, meaningful, new ‘green’ jobs.


Highlights:

  • Described as ‘game-changing’ by a grid expert and advisor to BEIS, Lark Rise requires just 2% of the energy from the grid compared with a typical UK home while exporting to the grid 10 times what it imports annually. Lark Rise is one of Europe’s most advanced high-performance houses. It demonstrates the concept of ‘building as PowerStation.’
  • Overall, Lark Rise has a negative energy demand of -35 kWh/m2a, compared to +213.67 kWh/m2 for a typical 85m2 UK home.
  • Lark Rise is a pathfinder project that demonstrates the potential for a whole new economic system – a Green Technology Revolution – and the opportunity for a rapid growth of significant numbers of attractive, meaningful, new ‘green’ jobs.

For more details:

Visit bere:architects

The SECBE 2019 Sustainability Award is sponsored by Temple Group.

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