The UK's most eco friendly homes to date have been completed at Redhill,
Surrey. Built by the Raven Housing Trust, the local housing association, they
are the first inhabited flats to achieve "level 5" on the Code for
Sustainable Homes scorecard. That's just one level short of being zero carbon
Features:• The walls of the flats are highly insulated and then covered with natural brick and clay tiles.
• The windows are triple-glazed.
• The homes are heated by under-floor heating and there are no radiators.
• A "heat-recovery ventilation system" utilises any heat generated within the home, for instance by electrical equipment, a boiling kettle or human activity, and returns it back into the flats along with fresh air.
• There are solar panels on the roof
• A biomass boiler runs off wood pellets (plugged into the National Grid, just in case).
• Rainwater harvesting, low-flush toilets.
• Low-flow taps and showers all encourage water consumption (about half the average).
• Small baths are designed to conserve water.
The cost of building the two level five Raven flats is just over £300,000, but the housing association received support from the local council and other organisations. The flats were built by the construction firm Osborne.