RIBA award-winning zero carbon design and development business Zed Factory has unveiled the Zero Bills Home, which it says is a response to the housing crisis that aims to make home energy bills obsolete.
The house is designed to minimise its energy requirements, with the remaining energy needs met by a roof-integrated photovoltaic and energy storage system, which, the company says, can also generate enough power to service a small electric vehicle.
The home is heated by a small air source heat pump that recycles heat recovered from stale air that's been processed by a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system.
Zero Bills comes as a kit of parts – a steel frame with timber wall panels, the bulk of which is manufactured in the UK. The system costs approximately £1,350 per square metre.
Architect Bill Dunster said: "SME builders are key to delivering the 250,000 homes per annum we need across the UK – the Zero Bills system is an off-the-shelf solution for SMEs that could really drive the market in the right direction. With its integrated energy generation facility it shows how we could actually reduce the investment needed for centralised national infrastructure by becoming net exporters of renewable energy."
Zero Bills is aiming to be one of the first homes assessed under the Building Research Establishment (BRE)'s new Home Quality Mark, which provides consumer-friendly, impartial information via a star ratings system on the quality and sustainability of new homes. Subject to planning permission, it has already been commissioned for use on a development in Newport, Essex, for the Sir Arthur Ellis Trust.
BRE's chief executive said "Zero Bills represents new thinking and a fresh approach to the significant challenges and opportunities we face in the housing market."
Zero Bills is located on the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, a mini-demonstration community of homes and buildings of the future.
Picture by Sam Turner, BRE