The formative review in December was very helpful in that it allowed us to explain the process and techniques we have learned about IES in detail. This gave us confidence in our skills for the next stage of the module. After the review, the group were given a model of a Victorian House, which is situated in Birmingham. We all ran a simulation of the model to discover that the total carbon emission was 12,579. From this point onwards, the challenge of achieving zero carbon status began.
Using the knowledge gained throughout semester 1, I began adjusting the building fabric. The existing external walls consist of brickwork and plaster. With no insulation in the walls, the u-value achieved was 1.945 W/m2.K. After some quick research and recommendations, I applied Vacuum Insulated Panels to the external walls. These panels are fixed on the outer side of the external wall, so that the internal room dimensions will not decrease. By adding insulation to the external walls, the carbon emissions value decreased to a total of 9428 kg CO2, and achieved a u-value of 0.15 W/m2.K. The existing windows for the house were single glazed, with a u-value of 5.23 W/m2.K; therefore I changed the windows to triple-glazed giving a u-value of 0.83 W/m2.K and reducing the total emissions to 8387 kg CO2.
The next adjustment made was adding insulation to the roof and ground floor. By simply insulating the house the total carbon emission was reduced to 7272 kg CO2.
Adjusting the air infiltration within the house from 1.5 to 0.5 ach reduced the total carbon emissions to 5223 kg CO2.
Once the insulation was added, the next stage was altering the internal parts of the house. The existing doors had a u-value of 2.2, and through research adding a silicon material called Aerogel decreases the u-value to 0.06. This reduced the total emissions to 5108 kg CO2, which is not a huge amount compared to the previous adjustments made.
Having made adjustments to the building fabric, the next stage was to change the electricity usage. This meant changing the lighting within the house. Simply by changing the tungsten light bulbs to LEDs reduced the carbon emissions to 3105 kg CO2. This is due to the electricity usage as well as the reduction in heat loss from the light bulbs.
For the next session, I plan on installing renewable energies to the house, which I hope will reduce the emissions and aid me in achieving the zero carbon status.