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Passing the PassivHaus test


Architect Richard Hawkes is committed to embracing the latest sustainable design solutions.

‘The Arched Eco House’, an extraordinary green project situated in the heart of rural Kent, is one of Richard’s finest architectural achievements and boasts some of the most innovative carbon cutting technologies available.

Richard comments “Eco solutions were always something I was keen to include in the project, so I made it a personal mission to specify the latest and most effective green products when designing and building the development… Although not planned as a PassivHaus, after completing the build we found total annual kWh/m2 to be around 54, nearly five times less than a typical three-bed property.

“After official testing and evaluation, the Arched Eco House was officially certified as a PassivHaus and has since become widely renown as one of the most energy efficient properties in the UK. In fact, the house actually costs minus £400 every year to run – an incredible green achievement.

“However, since completion, we have been looking to make the property even more efficient and recently installed a 4.5kW PV array to compliment the current 3.4kW PV-T system.

“Although the set-up generated a significant amount of energy every day, we used a minimal amount during the day and therefore ended up exporting the majority to the grid.

“I started to research ways to self-consume a higher percentage of this power and came across the immerSUN, a microgen switching device that directs surplus self-generated energy to the immersion element in our phase change heat store.

“Since installation, we have seen an average of 30kWh generated daily via the panels, which the immerSUN effectively manages and uses to heat our hot water.

“This allows us to self-consume 100% of our green energy, reduce our wood pellet consumption and provide piping hot water throughout the day.

“I’m so impressed with the immerSUN. After just two months we’ve saved over 700 kWhs, which is astonishing. It’ll pay for itself in no time at all. I wish I’d found it sooner! A clever, simple and impressive system, the immerSUN is perfect for any eco project.”