Following the example of the German PassivHaus standard and Canadian Super-E systems, the consultants designing a development of highly energy efficient homes in Suffolk have opted to incorporate Omnie mechanical heat recovery ventilation systems as well as the manufacturer’s well proven TorFloor underfloor heating to help maintain optimum indoor conditions.
The three dwellings currently being built by Mainline Properties at Cedar’s Close in Thurston, near Bury St. Edmunds, feature a host of sustainable technologies – including solar thermal and PV panels – together with achieving excellent airtightness and insulation standards. However, while such measures will ensure the homes can offer low energy bills, the occupants could also face the twin risks of overheating in summer and condensation problems from the moisture generated by cooking, washing or simply breathing.
As a result the trio of three-storey, four bedroom eco-houses are being fitted with the MVHR units by local plumbing and heating specialist, All Aspects Plumbing, with the duct pipes being rapidly routed through the buildings’ metal web floor joists. In operation, the warm moist air extracted from the kitchen and other wet rooms will pass through each unit’s high efficiency heat exchanger to temper the incoming fresh air. Alternatively, during warm weather, the system can simply supply cooling ventilation to the living spaces and bedrooms.
The MVHR’s 75 mm diameter semi-rigid ducts are connected back through a manifold and to the low wattage fans, then to the external terminals. While the latter can exit through a roof cowl, in the case of the Thurston houses the design arrived at by Omnie and the architects makes use of wall outlets. Full colour isometric drawings are just part of the technical support offered by Omnie to ensure the success of the installation on site.