The current emphasis on energy conservation and the use of Low and Zero Carbon (LZC) technologies for new builds is being embraced by the Church of England. Birmingham-based Couch Perry & Wilkes has been appointed to provide environmental building services design advice for three new Eco-vicarages by The Diocese of Worcester. These environmentally responsible new vicarages are in Kidderminster, Redditch and Kingswinford. The company has also been appointed for a new extension to the Archdeacon’s house. All three projects are due to be completed by the autumn.
As one of the UK’s leading experts in sustainable building, Couch Perry & Wilkes was chosen by The Diocese of Worcester to deliver environmentally responsible buildings and to enhance the Diocese’s sustainability credentials.
Couch Perry & Wilkes will take an exemplar approach based on PassivHaus principles, a leading standard in energy efficient construction for residential and commercial building. The ultimate aim, according to Dr Stephen Ball, Sustainability & Alternative Technology Consultant at the company, is to attain PassivHaus accreditation and develop a ‘Zero Carbon Home’ (Code Level 6) in line with the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) criteria. He explains: “The energy demand of the eco-vicarages will be reduced to an absolute minimum by designing a super insulated building envelope with triple glazing throughout.”
Stephen continued, “In keeping with PassivHaus principles, the Eco-vicarages will not have boilers but a full Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system. We will also use super air-tight construction, glazing on the south facade to promote solar gain and daylight penetration, roof-mounted thermal evacuated tubes, a 500 litre thermal store to provide hot water, and 42m2 of solar photovoltaic panels to provide electricity.
“Even the energy associated with artificial lighting will be kept to a minimum by using low energy luminaires coupled with reflectors that have high purity light reflection properties.”