Home > Sustainable Design > Heating and Sustainability

Heating and Sustainability

By: James Murray-White - Updated: 7 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Heating Sustainable Solar Environment

The biggest issue facing house designers and builders in the modern age is how to ensure the construction accords with the worldwide need to exist within limits of sustainability. This involves ensuring that all resources used are made from renewable resources,instead of eating away at the eventually limited worldwide supply of the fossil fuels that we use to create gas and electricity, and that the emissions from the building can be minimised, and to aim for a zero emission target, or a non-carbon contribution.

Sustainable Heating Systems: Some Options

There are several options for installing, or even replacing, a more ecological heating system within a building. Some of the most common are as follows:

Solar Heating
There are two types of solar panel heating systems, which are based on different technologies. Solar Water Heating systems, also known as Solar Thermal systems, just supplies hot water. Solar Photovoltaic or Solar PV systems generate only electricity. Using the resource of the sun's energy, we have the technology to heat our water supply within our houses. Some municipal swimming pools in the UK are now harnessing this technology to keep swimmers warm in the water in winter. This advance greatly reduces our dependency upon imported fossil fuels, and improves the crucial diversity of energy supply, is immediately and readily available - except for those dark, dreary winter months - as well as curbing urban air pollution.

But the second system, Photovoltaic, is an expensive technology, which would take generations of savings off electricity bills before it paid for itself. Also, at times the solar system needs connection to an electrical system to boost power, storage of power within this system are not fully developed yet, and in the UK the heat from the sun is insufficient to give year-round energy to the system.Most experts are recommending combining a photovoltaic system with a secondary source, such as the wood pellet stove, to provide all year cover of electricity.

Wood Pellet Stoves
Another possibility is the installation of a Wood Pellet stove. These have been developed and manufactured in Nordic countries, and rely upon softwood pellets - typically made of manufactured wood by-products, such as sawdust. This is an effective exchange of fossil fuels in favour of bio-fuel (see our page on this site : www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/bio-energy), and encourages continued replanting of forestry. There are environmental issues however in doing this, such as habitat loss. Also, it is yet unknown what the emissions contribution is from burning chemically complex non-softwood pellets. This could have environmental and health hazards.

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP)
This is a system that utilises the natural solar heat that exists stored within the ground.A high-quality ground loop and heat pump system collects the heat, converts it to energy, then can store or utilise it as energy. This is innovative, and a literally ground-breaking technology and here in the UK is in operation in parts of Scotland. However, it is both an expensive system to install, and has a natural limit in that only a maximum of 70% of the necessary heating energy for a building can be obtained this way.

The Way Forward …

It is probable that anyone considering which sustainable type of heating system for an environmentally-friendly building would opt for a combination of the systems mentioned above. There are others, and do bear in mind that new technologies are continually in development. Also it is strongly advisable to check with a Local Council as some do have grants available and/or tax incentives for adding a sustainable heating system to houses in their area. Bear in mind that it is our imperative need to halt harm to our environment and the fragile eco-system we live within, and developing and using systems such as these to heat and power our lives are crucial, as well as examples of tremendous human ingenuity.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Jph - Your Question:
How can we heat our grade 11 listed building more sustainably? Is an air heat source pump the answer?

Our Response:
Listed building consent is required for air source heat pumps, they are however, considered a good way of providing a sustainable form of heating. Bath and North East Somerset Council has produced a really useful document which should help you - it can be found Here ...Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Guidance For Listed Buildings and Undesignated Historic Buildings
SustainableBuild - 10-Apr-17 @ 10:38 AM
How can we heat our grade 11 listed building more sustainably? Is an air heat source pump the answer?
Jph - 7-Apr-17 @ 6:20 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
SEARCH OUR SUSTAINABLE BUILD DIRECTORY...
IN TOWN / POSTCODE:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • AMLH
    Re: Underground Construction
    Hi, We have some land which we want to put underground rooms in, for holiday lets. Can anyone please tell us, where I can buy prefab…
    14 October 2017
  • SustainableBuild
    Re: Brownfield Sites
    Val Daniels - Your Question:Hi , can you if possible please send me a detailed plan of all brownfeild sites around Warrington in cheshire that are…
    15 September 2017
  • Val Daniels
    Re: Brownfield Sites
    Hi , can you if possible please send me a detailed plan of all brownfeild sites around Warrington in cheshire that are available for development,…
    13 September 2017
  • Francie
    Re: Pollution From Construction
    My neighbours built a large extension about 18 months ago .It took ages and created a lot of dust. Their kitchen is adjacent to our…
    6 September 2017
  • sherif
    Re: Stone Construction
    am architecture from Egypt , i create my own stone construction method , i named it (interactive architecture ) its the revolution in stone…
    25 August 2017
  • Ryan
    Re: Build Your Own Earthship: the Ultimate Sustainable Home!
    How is the project going Andrew? :) I would love to help
    13 August 2017
  • Dragonfly
    Re: Financing Your Sustainable Development Project
    I am looking to find funding to completely renovate as Eco friendly as possible an old traditional house in…
    9 August 2017
  • SustainableBuild
    Re: Transport Links to New Build Developments
    Julian - Your Question:I am involved with community response to a brownfield site which is currently going…
    7 August 2017
  • Julian
    Re: Transport Links to New Build Developments
    I am involved with community response to a brownfield site which is currently going through outline planning…
    3 August 2017
  • Pointer
    Re: A Green Roof
    We are restoring a stone croft, with stone flag roof. Please could you advise on how to plant an Armeria Maritima green roof? Do we HAVE to use modern…
    1 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SustainableBuild website. Please read our Disclaimer.