Colin Heal in front of his zero carbon self build which includes 35 photovoltaic solar panels
In 2015, Colin Heal MCIOB, former consultant project manager for Mace, and his wife Alison built their own sustainable home in a mere eight months. The contemporary building is zero carbon.
In 2016 the building was awarded the Most Sustainable Construction award at the Hertfordshire Building Future Awards.
“We wanted to demonstrate how modern design and methods of construction can be used to create not only a sustainable home, but an attractive and desirable property,” says Heal.
“We wanted to show that there are other ways to build new houses. We have created our dream home – one that is truly sustainable, whilst still being innovative and contemporary. We built it in a fraction of the time of typical traditional new builds, with minimal environmental impact.
“Although I would say it cost around five per cent more to build sustainably, we receive an annual income of nearly £3,000 from the electricity and ground source heat we produce. On top of that, you can’t put a price on the feelgood factor.”
The biggest contributor to the energy saving in this property is the recycled glass fibre insulation, which has been installed throughout the building.
In addition the roof is fully constructed from 35 photovoltaic solar panels, (which required a three-phase electricity supply to be installed to handle the additional power generated) and it boasts a ground source heat pump and automatic heat recovery and ventilation system.
Such is the success of his home, Colin set up ZEHo Projects, a project management consultancy specialising in sustainable developments. One of his current projects is a sustainable office block near Milton Keynes which includes a water source heat pump using the heat from an adjacent lake.
Entry for the 2018 Hertfordshire Building Futures Awards closes on 6 July. For details see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/BFawards2018
Learn more about ZEHo at www.zeho.co.uk