Opening the door to energy efficient living
Published on 16th February 2016
With increasing concerns over the environment and fuel prices steadily rising, a homeowner from Leicestershire made the decision to build himself an energy efficient property.
In January 2015, Nick Cvetkovic from Market Bosworth began the self-build journey that he hoped would change his life for the better. Although Nick had experience in renovating properties, this would be his first new build project and so he had a challenge on his hands. This would be made even more complex by his desire to build a low carbon, energy efficient home.
Mr Cvetkovic was keen to move away from the stereotypical British brick house and take a more contemporary approach with his home’s design. He opted for non-traditional materials, such as western red cedar timber and slate cladding for the external walls and a steel roof. To make the most of the fantastic views over open countryside, Nick also chose to position the living room on the first floor and incorporate very slim profile glazing to create unbroken views.
However, aesthetics were not Nick’s only priority. In order to meet the desired insulation standards and U values, building materials and components all had to be carefully considered during planning to maximise the property’s efficiency.
Contrary to popular belief, three times the amount of heat is actually lost to infiltration and air leakage than through walls and ceilings. Ensuring that the building is completely airtight is one of the principle requirements of a low carbon home. Aware of the problems that frequently arise due to lack of ventilation, such as damp, Nick conducted a considerable amount of research into this area and attended various seminars and expos.
After much consideration, Nick decided to incorporate a mechanical ventilation system into his new home that filters, changes and then recirculates the air, while extracting any dampness. However, to successfully seal his home, Nick had to verify that every component selected for the build would keep air leakage to the absolute minimum.
The property’s various doors, for instance, called for a highly insulated, airtight composition. Nick required a set of doors that would be energy efficient and secure without having to compromise on style. Having had a Hörmann garage door in his previous property, Nick approached the leading door manufacturer again with his request.
Living in close proximity to Hörmann UK’s Leicestershire headquarters proved very beneficial for Nick, who visited the showroom to see the doors in action and find out more.
Hörmann’s insulated sectional door seemed the ideal choice for the new garage opening. This door is particularly well suited for integral garages where heat loss needs to be minimised. Offering one of the best U-values on the market, this door benefits from a 42mm-thick polyurethane infill and includes seals on all four sides. Thanks to the wide selection of colours and finishes available, Nick was able to select a style that fitted in perfectly with the contemporary look of his new home.
The property’s entrance door also had the same requirements and so the ThermoPro steel door was suggested. Offering an excellent UD-value, i.e. the U-value of the fitted door, of just 1.1 W/(m2.K) and benefitting from a 46mm rigid steel polyurethane-filled door leaf, the ThermoPro was the perfect solution for Nick’s energy-efficient home.
The door also features multi-point locking and additional security bolts on the hinge side making it practically impossible to force open. Capable of withstanding common break-in tactics, this particular range from Hörmann is also available with Police approved Secured by Design status.
Three further doors were required, one of which would be installed two metres below the property in an underground store. All the doors required larger openings than usual so standard door dimensions would not have been appropriate. Hörmann, however, produces doors that are available in a wide selection of standard and special sizes, so can accommodate virtually any opening.
Nick enlisted the help of garage door experts at Doorfit Products for further guidance and to safeguard an accurate installation. Working with Nick’s architect and builder was key to ensuring that the fitting was a success.
David Close, general manager at Doorfit Products commented: “Our job was made easier by having access to not only the client but also his architect, enabling us to understand the vision whilst ensuring the installation and specification were practical in relation to the build. We take great pride in our role as a Hörmann dealer, it was a pleasure to be involved in such an interesting and bespoke project.”
Mr Cvetkovic was impressed by the service provided by Doorfit Products: “The team worked quickly and efficiently, nothing was too much trouble. The doors are highly efficient and fit in perfectly with the style of our home, we’re very pleased with the end result.”
The external work on the property was completed in December 2015 with just landscaping and internal work left to complete in the early part of this year. Nick and his wife Susie are both looking forward to settling in and making the most of their new low energy home.