Domestic energy demand has been high on the carbon reduction agenda for some time. Today new homes are being designed following the “fabric first” principle which is reducing heat demand, but it is shifting the design challenge to ventilation. Further energy reductions and comfort improvements are needed. It is frequently proposed that automated control systems can achieve this. However, the technologies involved are currently considered expensive and complicated. There is little published evidence of how these types of systems perform in use, which leads to scepticism. This research study aims to test the hypothesis that automated demand-controlled heating and ventilation can provide a good indoor environment while reducing energy consumption in “real-life” homes. A year-long case study was conducted using six occupied, neighbouring dwellings installed with a low-cost automated building control system. The energy consumption figures recorded were compared to the values predicted by the Standard Assessment Procedure and by a Dynamic Simulation Model, and compared to Passivhaus standard. Significant savings have been identified. The results of this study show that an automated control system can lead to very low energy, and hence low carbon homes at a price-point that would incentivise widespread role out. This means that such systems have the potential to make a considerable contribution to reducing the carbon footprint of housing stock, and hence to meeting carbon reduction targets.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.