Q-vent heat recovery is ideal choice for new eco house

A new build residential property in Devon has been designed as an eco-friendly dwelling with heating provided through a combination of insulated heat store of 150 cubic metres that supplies the under floor heating, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water tubes and solar PV panels. To provide energy efficient ventilation to the home, Johnson & Starley’s Q-Vent HR260 heat recovery system has also been specified.

The concept of the house is that it will require no external energy to heat it, ensuring low running costs but with no compromise in total comfort. Some power will be used for cooking and lighting at night. Construction commenced in 2011 and is due for completion later this year.

The owners of the property Peter and Helen Silcock own their own specialist remedial company that supplies and fits Johnson & Starley’s Positive Input Ventilation systems in properties to reduce condensation and mould. They are more than happy with the performance and quality of the Johnson & Starley products so the Q-Vent HR260 was the natural choice for their own property.

With such a tightly sealed property, the owners knew that efficient ventilation would be critical in order to maintain a comfortable living environment. They would need to achieve highly efficient air extraction, rates but did not want to lose any heat from the property.

Unventilated and stale air would be detrimental to the fabric of the building and the internal environment. By using a heat recovery system such as the Johnson & Starley Q-Vent range not only does it provide the best ventilation all year round, but also during winter months ensuring that minimal heat loss is maintained.

The Q-Vent HR260 unit was installed in the property in the room housing the cylinder for the heat pumps. Ducting is concealed in the shallow void between the ceiling panels and the roof of the property, extracting warm moist air from the bathroom and ensuite. Pre-warmed fresh filtered air is then introduced into the living areas, while the residue air is exhausted to the outside of the property.

The Johnson & Starley Q-Vent heat recovery units achieve very high efficiency rates of up to 95% due to the inclusion of the counter flow heat exchanger which works by pre-warming the incoming fresh filtered air indirectly by the extracted air.

Extract rates can be boosted if needed and the installer’s commissioning panel allows for infinitely variable air flow rates to be accurately set to provide close control of air supply and extraction on both normal and boost settings. There is also a summer setting to circulate cool filtered air directly from the outside, by-passing the heat exchanger in the summer months.

The eco house is of insulated concrete formwork (ICF) construction with very high levels of insulation to walls, floor and roof. Insulated with insulating concrete forms, which form part of the walls and roof, make the property tightly fitted and prevent air convection currents which can destroy insulation factors. The house is built on a raft with continuous insulation under the house.

The sides of the house are covered in earth for even greater insulation and Argon filled coated glazing show less than 1000 watts are needed to keep internal temperatures stable at 20°C with temperatures as low as -5°C outside. Sensors have been built into the house to log the actual performance of the whole property.

For more information contact Johnson & Starley Ltd, Rhosili Road, Brackmills, Northampton, NN4 7LZ, Tel: +44 (0) 1604 762881, Fax: +44 (0) 1604 767408, Email: marketing(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)johnsonandstarley.co.uk or visit their website www.johnsonandstarley.co.uk