What does a future-proofed home look like?
Colin Heal’s house is prepared for an uncertain future.
By Christine Ro – BBC News
The three-storey house in the Hertfordshire village of Wheathampstead has 35 solar panels that produce more energy than Mr Heal and his wife can use, so they can sell surplus electricity.
The house is fully electric. The couple plan to buy solar battery storage so that even more of their energy is useable.
While flooding is a concern in the surrounding area, they don’t worry about it – and not just because their house is on an elevation.
Their driveway has gravel that drains water, rather than collecting it into pools, and their green roof reduces rainwater run-off. And under their rear garden is a soakaway: essentially a big tank constructed of crates that collects excess rainwater and gradually drains it into the subsoil.
Also, below the surface, are pipes connected to a ground source heat pump. The pump takes heat from the ground and boosts it to the level needed for the underfloor heating and hot water. Heat pumps are much more energy efficient than boilers, which typically rely on fossil fuels.