Researchers At Ulster University Reveal Performance Results Of Green Future House 

April 2012

Researchers from Ulster University who undertook an innovative research programme to find out how energy efficient Green Future's innovative zero carbon house is have released their findings. Researchers from Ulster University who used a variety tests to measure the energy performance of the innovative Green Future house have revealed that the Green Future house provides a 77 per cent improvement in thermal performance compared to a traditional house.

Green Future used the latest construction methods and technologies available in order to deliver the zero carbon house to Code Level 6 and the company says these findings prove to everyone how Green Future is at the forefront, building superior energy efficient performance homes at costs until now unheard of.

A spokesperson for Green Future said: “We set out a challenging task to build a zero carbon blueprint home to Code Level 6 unparalleled in performance and price.  The results presented here by Ulster University reiterate what we already knew. We set out to accomplish a performance home with the thermal performance close to 77 per cent and this is what we have achieved."

Green Future believes the statistics revealed by the Ulster University researchers will help members of the public, industry and government better understand the benefits of a Green Future zero carbon home and how key zero carbon homes can help eradicate issues such as fuel poverty. 

“The principle aim of this project was to study the fabric performance standards achieved and will detail the design measures that were taken. It also covers the various zero carbon energy generating technologies that have been installed in the Green Future house to not only meet but exceed the zero carbon standards. The monitoring derived real understanding on the actual (as-built) performance versus designed performance. Shedding light about the real energy demands in zero carbon dwellings was key for us and it's vital the construction industry as a whole arms itself with a better understanding of actual performance versus designed performance. We are delighted with these results."

Ulster University's Centre for Sustainable Technologies which is at the forefront of UK’s low carbon housing research was commissioned to carry out the thermal performance testing of the Green Future house by the sustainable construction company in collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland.

The results reveal that the Green Future House provides for approximately a 77 per cent improvement in thermal performance compared to a traditional house build to the minimum building regulations mandatory requirements. 

According to the report: "the continuity of insulation across the walls and fabric of the ICF construction is apparent and this contributes to minimal energy leakage. The bridge and joins between the ICF fabric and windows is also well maintained. This would indicate a high degree of insulation and good workmanship particularly in these area." 

The university researchers conducted a variety of performance tests on the ground-breaking zero carbon house, these included a co-heating test which measured the steady-state heat loss from fabric and air infiltration together. A thermography test used to take a picture that showed the relative temperatures of the different external elements of the Green Future House. The different temperatures were represented by different colours, and were used to identify missing insulation, cold bridges and significant air leakage paths. An air leakage test using large electrical fans to alternately pressurise and depressurise the completed Green Future house. By recording the electrical energy used by the fan, the flow rate required to maintain the pressure difference was estimated. Hence the air infiltration rate of the Green Future home was calculated.

“We've conducted extensive independent performance research before we built this zero carbon home prototype and much anticipated these university research findings, which have reflected our own research findings.” The company spokesperson concluded.