Old meets new in eco-homeHome of the future uses medieval design

18 February 2009

Crossways eco-home in Kent

The Crossways eco-home in Kent. Image: Channel 4

One of the UK’s first zero-carbon houses has been unveiled in Kent.

The distinctive arched design of the four bedroom ‘eco-home’ draws on a technique called ‘timbrel vaulting’, which dates back to the 14th century. The shape allows it to retain heat, absorb temperature changes and reduce the need for central heating or cooling systems.

No fossil fuels

The house has been deemed zero-carbon because fossil fuels are not needed to heat it. Instead much of its energy comes from solar panels. It also has triple-glazed windows and insulation made from recycled newspaper.

Architect Richard Hawkes, who designed the house for his family, said: ‘The building demonstrates how contemporary design can celebrate local materials and integrate new technologies to produce a highly sustainable building that sits lightly on the Earth.’

Government plans

Last week the government announced plans to reduce carbon emissions for all UK homes to almost zero.

To see how you can cut your home’s emissions and save on energy costs visit the interactive Which? green home.

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