The collaborative Nottingham H.O.U.S.E (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy) project between Saint-Gobain and the University of Nottingham has travelled an incredible journey. As main sponsor Saint-Gobain assisted the group of Architecture and Engineering students to detail and specify their vision of a viable starter home for the UK market, which not only met the 2016 ‘zero carbon’ challenge but also met the needs of a couple moving in to their first home that was capable of supporting a growing family.
Saint-Gobain helped review and detail the specification, using products and solutions from the breadth and depth of the Saint-Gobain product range.
Research undertaken through industry/academia partnerships is a vital part of developing sustainable housing solutions to tackle the key issues of climate change, fuel poverty and the provision of warm and affordable housing. It is also vital that we educate the next generation of professionals with the knowledge to design and deliver these solutions - something we are doing here at Nottingham with our own students. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Saint-Gobain on this exciting innovative project which is the latest addition to our Green Close research houses. Not only will the Nottingham HOUSE act as a research test bed but also as a teaching and learning facility to inform people about energy saving and renewable energy technologies.
Chair in Sustainable Building Design University of Nottingham
The Nottingham H.O.U.S.E (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy) is a truly family oriented ‘zero-carbon’ house. It demonstrates how low-energy architecture can be used, combining both tradition and modernity, to provide a ‘zero carbon’ design solution to provide viable, repeatable, low cost family homes for the UK’s housing market. The Nottingham H.O.U.S.E is based on the principles of PassivHaus design, meaning that it requires minimal energy for space heating. Comprising a heavily insulated building fabric, making well-considered use of glazing, offering good daylighting and low summer solar gains.
The intention of the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E was to provide high-density urban living by using a design that can be used as part of a terrace (continuous row), as courtyard housing, or as semi-detached housing. The L-Shaped plan creates a private courtyard within the footprint and can be joined to other houses on two of its sides.
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I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, as it has literally changed my life. After my experience, I have found something that I am enthusiastic about, because I enjoyed the process so much. I have since decided to continue towards a career in Project Construction Management, and I am extremely appreciative, as without this project, I may not have been certain as to what ‘path’ to go down.
92%of Students felt that they learnt more about design and construction through this experience than they would in a classroom.
88% of the students felt that they have learnt more about energy efficiency and sustainability issues through this experience than they would in a classroom project.
Being involved in the construction of the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E has been a significant experience in my education, and has influenced my future path, both education wise and career wise. Having a live project to work on gives you a wider outlook on the ‘real world’ and an invaluable experience in general. Being embarked with the responsibility of working to live deadlines: Earls Court and Madrid, matures us as students.