As part of its decarbonisation targets, the UK government is working towards the Future Home Standard, which is expected to come into effect in 2025. It mandates that all new homes built from 2025 will need to be ‘futureproofed’ with low carbon heating; moving away from fossil fuel options and towards heat pumps. Its aim is to ensure that new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes built under the current Building Regulations by improving the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock. 

One example of what those new homes will be like is the Oakridge development built by Francis Jackson Homes. Near the village of North Kilworth, south Leicestershire, the development comprises 22 newbuild properties equipped with Samsung air source heat pumps. This project is a good example of how air source heat pumps can be incorporated into residential developments, and why it is so important to help guide the homeowners through this transition.

Andy Herbert, Construction Director at Francis Jackson Homes, explained: “Many of our purchasers also see the benefit of buying a ‘futureproofed’ home. New homes in the UK are now being built with high levels of insulation and efficient means of delivering heating and hot water, and this is only set to improve as more and more regulation changes are implemented.” 

The project of 22 traditionally-built one, two, three, and four bedroom homes, began in February 2021 and was completed in April 2023. 

The houses are fitted with a mix of 5kW, 8kW, and 12kW Samsung EHS Monobloc heat pumps, installed with World Heat Cylinders (16 plots with 250 litre cylinders, six plots with 210 litre cylinders).

The two-zone heating system comprises underfloor heating on the ground floor and wall-mounted radiators on the first floor. The heating and hot water provision has been designed and specified by Matt Tyrell at CH Olson, with systems installed by Francis Jackson Homes’ heating and electrical engineers, Atlas Electrical and Topsham and Eaton. The complete systems were commissioned and registered with Samsung by CH Olson. The underfloor heating was designed and specified by Ambiente, including the manifold, pipeworks, and room/zone-related controls.

Francis Jackson Homes, in conjunction with CH Olson, positioned the heat pumps and cylinders to avoid lengthy pipe runs or bends, and ensure flow rates to and from the outdoor units are optimised. What is most significant about this development is the approach taken to carefully incorporate heat pumps, not only in the design and build itself but also in the handover to the homeowner. 

Matt Tyrrell, Director at CH Olson, explains why this approach has been so pivotal: “History taught us that a lot of the callouts we got post installation were due to a lack of understanding and a lack of education from the homeowner. 

“So, we implemented a handover session shortly after the purchaser moves into the property. That was designed to mitigate those future callouts, give education, and set expectations for the homeowner around the system.”

Francis Jackson Homes worked closely with CH Olson to visit every new homeowner within a month of their moving in, to advise on control systems for different lifestyles, set expectations for performance and cost, and discuss how the technology works at its best. With this system in place, they have been able to optimise both the efficiencies of the heat pumps and, most importantly, homeowner satisfaction. 

Matt added: “Controls are hugely important, they are the homeowners’ interface to the system. You could build 10 houses in a row all of the same specifications, but as soon as you move in with 10 different families the requirements of the system changes, so your control strategy has to change depending on lifestyles. We discuss this as part of our handover, and our control strategy varies to best suit each homeowners’ lifestyle.” 

Andy concluded: “Francis Jackson have been delighted to work with Samsung on our North Kilworth project. The heat pumps have ticked all the crucial boxes we demanded of them. The use of the Samsung products has ensured supply chain certainty, ease of installation, efficient, quiet operation, and have delivered the performance to satisfy the comfort levels of our homeowners. 

“Its partner network, including CH Olson, have also played a crucial role in delivering highly professional advice and customer-focused support critical in making the project a success.”