Building An EcoHome & Why You Don’t Want A South Array.

Building An EcoHome & Why You Don’t Want A South Array.

welcome to today’s video today’s video won the Twitter poll for the top video that everyone wanted to see and that was
regarding eco home so today we’re going to be talking with Dean Fielding of eco
homes about his eco home project now most people will know Dean as eco plug
but that’s not Dean’s background Dean’s background is construction your
construction company is keystone developments yeah how long have you been
in the building game when you build your
first house Dean first house I built I
was 17 but I’ve kind of grown up with construction my dad was a bricklayer we
built extensions on the house every year until the point that I was about seven
years old and asked my dad why we weren’t building an extension this year
because I didn’t realize that it wasn’t normal to build an extension every year
so I’ve kind of from very small age lifting bricks in a bucket and hoisting
them up scaffolding I’ve lived and breathed construction my first job at 16
was a quantity surveyor for a large construction company soon wanted to set
my own business up which I did built my first house when I was 17 and it’s grown
and grown from there obviously as you all know I’m quite an eco-warrior yeah the construction business now it does specializes in historic and listed
building so working with a lot of natural old materials historic
construction methods which are inherently quite eco-friendly okay very interesting work I’m gonna guess then from the Keystone development in sort of
the construction industry that’s you’ve sort of seen how dirty
building construction system is absolutely yeah is that what’s inspired you
to make an eco-friendly home yeah yeah so I think that we can do better over here we have got a very expensive model of a very very large home but this isn’t
your sole purpose of building you’re not just going to build very expensive homes
I believe you’re also going to be building houses for basically anyone
who’s got plot of land that wants a eco home i presume your build a 2 3 you know
bedroom house basically to whatever someone wants but using your eco values
in this absolutely yeah so to start the business off it’s a startup company
we need to appeal to people who can afford the more expensive houses this
will prove the concept but then once we’ve got a few of these first view
through the system we can then look at the end goal solving the housing crisis
going down the route of manufacturing houses which we more efficient getting
the cost down ultimately end users will find that houses are more affordable
from a initial purchase price point of view and from an ongoing maintenance and
running costs now from the houses that you have built of this size in past on your non eco side yeah what do you think I mean obviously tie into your old job as a quantity surveyor what do we reckon the cost difference between
building a non eco house project and an eco house project will be in we’re not
talking about we’re not talking about savings of cost here because “okay” Dean
will go Dean loves numbers “i like numbers” physical costs to build the home not
talking about any savings what is the difference between an eco house and a non eco house so for a house that looked the same as this yeah I’d say there’s about 10% difference okay now 10% difference what do we think the payback on that 10% would be roughly calculated
on building the eco house project through the solar savings water savings and
other things that we’re going to go into in this video about 15 years okay so
relatively quick considering the house is hopefully gonna be around for a few
hundred yes there are other things to consider though now that is comparing an
off-the-shelf circuis six hundred thousand pound build cost for a large
house like this although I say this is 10% more this actually could be much
cheaper than an equivalent house the reason being we’ve already done all the
drawings the design we’re kind of just tweaking things it’s not like a lot of
the projects where you see on Grand Designs where client wants a house they
spend a fortune with an architect they then spend a fortune with a builder
and all weird and wonderful stuff that’s never been done before this is all tried
and tested stuff you said there’s four key points on building a new eco home
number one was the aesthetics i believe absolutely a point I fully agree on now I
said to Dean, Dean’s asked me why I bought my house where I live
and the reason I bought my house where I saw it was it was the most attractive
looking house I could because I like pretty picturesque houses a lot of the
houses that I believe are being built today and not built for what I like to
call curbside appeal they’re not built to be aesthetically pleasing they’re
built to do a job and to fit into a space could do better yeah so that is one of your ethos about eco homes in’t it yeah it’s not
difficult a lot of the houses simple things like symmetry getting all the
proportions correct it’s really important the reason we’ve gone with
this design it’s quite simple really but I’ve put a lot of thought into it is
that if you’re going to any village anywhere in the UK usually the most
expensive and most desirable house in the village is something like an old
vicarage that’s been around for 400 years or jordan manor house something
that looks similar to this it’s a sort of place that you just walk past the
garden and everything is fantastic you just look and think wow that’s nice I’d
like to live there yeah I mean it’s the sort of house if you actually child to
draw a house yeah it’s the house that comes to mind Yeah it’s kind of symmetry perfect good-looking house pretty looking house Dean’s second point about
eco homes is sustainability yeah absolutely and the products that you use they have to
be sustainable so I can take a random guess that some of the sustainable
things you’re talking about are readily available but just not currently used by
current builders that’s right yeah for various reasons mostly because
they always have I don’t actually question changing things and doing
things differently and don’t really think innovatively about the way that
they do stuff so as I’m sure you’ve probably all heard that the construction
industry itself is on its own one of the largest contributors to climate change
emissions so we look to solve that with the Keystone future homes the way that
we can do that is in the construction process we’re making this house so that
it’s net carbon emissions are zero we’re actually hoping to go better than zero
in that there’s so much timber used in the house will actually be locking more
co2 into the house than the total emissions used to create the house in
the first place okay so I’m going to presume you’re using timber frames correct yeah okay now a lot of a lot of people who
are not in the building game yeah will first of all go oh timber frames that’s
a cheap build well no it’s not actually right this is what I’m mentioning it
because for someone from the building construction timber frame I presume is
actually a better way of building a home for one it’s normally not cheaper 2 it’s
thermally better we’re also going for a something called a low thermal mass on
this house which means that you can heat it up and cool it down quickly it
doesn’t have tons and tons of concrete so there’s no cement in this house at
all Cement he was huge huge quantities of fossil fuels to hate it and for the
manufacturing process this dirty stuff I’m also ready it uses a hell of a lot
of water yes yeah huge amounts of water huge amounts of fossil fuels fairly
annually intensive so we’re going with alternative construction methods which
are also quite traditional construction methods and also use locally available
materials as well so a presume instead of I’ve got a little sample here which
is sort of mortar normal mortar yeah what is this stuff D so this is
lime mortar which has been used on historic and listed buildings for
centuries one of my favorite motto just because something’s old doesn’t mean
it’s not any good this lime mortar is actually better for the stone it allows
it to breathe it’s slightly softer more flexible and aesthetically as well it
also mellows and blends in nicely with the natural stone which we’ve got
another sample here the colors mellow better you don’t get the hard heavy
great dark grey cement look and there’s a reason why they don’t use it anymore
traditional construction not really not in my opinion anyway I think is it
harder to work with or it’s different to work with okay experienced bricklayer
I know your points about there are actually
better definitely looks nicer yeah it behaves completely differently but it
looks looks nicer more sustainable it actually sets by absorbing the co2 out
of the atmosphere to Holland yeah the co2 emitted from it when you make it but
it locks it back in as it says right so let’s come neutral if you can do both of
a manufacturing process which theoretically you could then yeah
another point Dean has about the construction of a new valve home is
obviously a lot of new built homes now which I find ridiculous and not the
building roof space but they’re not putting any salt panel Bell toll panels
yeah I knew we were going to say then so there was a target by the government to
make code six building rigs compliant homes by 2016
which they conveniently shelved and a continuing to do fracking and now I’m
gonna burn gas and putting boilers in the can down the road well without being
rude to your industry the building industry in this country is a bit like
the oil industry in America as in lobbyists and I’m assuming that the
building firms lobbied the government on the solar being installed a new built
home they said it was too expensive right I beg to differ because if you’re
gonna put a roof on there you might as well put a solar roof on there because
you don’t have to put a traditional roof on first and then solar panels on the
top you could do it there’s built-in PV which is what we intend to do on here so
I mean so obviously there is two ways of building solar in a house so I’m gonna
presume there is missing a couple of the slates out and putting panels in that
way yeah that that’s one what you’re saving on slates you are yeah there’s
cheaper it’s cheaper it’s not quite as I said pleasing so the we’re talking is a
broad spectrum at the moment yeah that’s this move away from this lovely
accessorizing areas I’ve got we’re talking that’s trying to help other
people who may not be ready to afford one of your homes but might be building
their own self build you could build the panels into the roof sunk into the roof
yes and that would save money on slates and also you’d have some solar panels
yeah now there’s the method that eco homes is using which let’s be honest if
no one’s figured out there is zero solar panels on this roof there’s a reason for
that isn’t that e yeah that’s because the roof is the solar panels Tesla solar
slates we’ve got one of the reservations for the first in the UK to use a solar
slate roof first few eco homes would be the first few people to have solar roofs
that’s right yeah justice all roofs in that country yeah it’s basically like a
hologram in the slate so wings look down on ground level and look up it looks
like a nice French slate roof or but then when you tilt the panel you see the
actual yes solar cell so from the ground point of view it’s a roof from normal
some point of view it’s those old-fashioned kids toys where I used to
flip the image and you used to see it move I mean there’s one point I’ve just
noticed about your roof mm-hmm the picture is very high it is yeah so is
this a reason that runs a high B there is a reason B fucking behind that what
one of my pet hates on Grand Designs I mean Grand Designs was okay but there
are a few things that really annoy me and one of them is when they go okay so
we’ve decided to put solar panels on this house and we had a university
studies tell us that the optimum angle for solar panels in this area of the UK
is thirty three point five degrees perfectly south-facing which they put
them on there and it generates power and that generates the most power over a
12-month period which on paper is technically correct however there’s a
slight problem with that in that the shallow 33 degree angle for the solar
panels is designed to aim at the Sun when it’s highest in the sky when
there’s the most Sun it kind of makes sense to optimize the most generation
over a 12-month period however that’s not actually what you
want the reason is that you did you’re designing the whole system to generate
the most amount of power in the middle of the day in the middle of summer which
is precisely when it’s least needed right yeah does that make sense because
you’re not in and it’s sunny and it was when in the middle of summer when the
demand is lowest we’ve actually gone with two different pictures on the
different elevations and we’ve not with South only for example on the rear
of the house 40 degree pitch on the South elevation so that’s a bit steeper
so yes you miss out on slightly some of the the highest amount of Sun in the
summer but that’s when you’ll be generating so much surplus that you
wouldn’t need it anyway it’d be wasted so we’ve gone with you know bit bit
higher pitch so that when the Sun is lower in the sky you still generating a
decent amount of electricity throughout more of the year which is also when it’s
more needed in the winter when demand is higher
we’ve also added an east and west array the idea of this is to work with the
grids natural peaks and troughs correct and balance out when the solar energies
actually need it yes rather than when the solar is more abundant correct so if
you’ve got a south-facing array you’ll know that especially in the summer the
Sun rises sort of northeast and can be on the east gable of your house for
three hours in the morning and your south-facing arrays doing sort of 40 or
50 Watts until nine o’clock and then the Sun comes on to the South array which is
when you’ve gone to work too late which is to wait so I’m presuming that if
you’re if you’re plugging into a solid hour to charger for your electric car
yeah really the last roof you want to get generated
from is this one the first roof you can generate off is this one correct cuz
it’s when in the morning yeah when you’re waking up and these are also a
steeper pitch and then these are 50 degree because the sun’s lower in the
sky and more you mean this this roof is when you get home yeah absolutely sales
when you get home filling in and you want some charge yeah you come home put
cattle on I know we’ve talked about this before but the idea of your eco home and
solar and battery storage system and this you don’t want to pull any
electricity from the ground up belief no so at least 75 percent of the year
this is capable of being completely off grid and generating off surplus
electricity to run to battery electric vehicles I have a question yeah homeless
sighs you’re gonna have at least two electric cars yes how you can do that
without in point so we’ve got these so on here there’s a total of 21 kilowatts
although we’ve lost a little bit on the south array this surface area here
because we’ve got such a much larger surface area on the east and west pitch
not more than offsets any difference so we generate far more electricity in with
this arrangement which means that we’ve got the house is so efficient doesn’t
use much electricity its ground source heat pumps ventilation heat recovery
systems as well the chimneys have not for burning anything because we don’t
burn stuff in this asset so these chimneys are not for a log fire for
example no these are for the ventilation heat recovery system okay so really
these chimneys are mainly there for aesthetical purposes aesthetics
yeah and repurposed for the ventilation system right so it’s gonna have like a
full filtration on the house being evolved enough the PM 2.5 particles
positive pressure inside see you’re not sucking cold dirty air in so this
positive pressure in the house I’m going to assume from cleaning point of view
means there’s going to be less dust be less dust yeah
just thing to do and just mean that we’ve got all that cleaner cleaner air
myself for us just found a another extra benefit that you can go and you’re gonna
be resulting in less chemicals being used to clean your home yeah this is
just dusty mr. trim that’s plastics from your microfiber
cloths nice doesn’t it yeah you should get a job for us now do
you never follow this one you say no apart from the solar panels the havok
heat system the ground source heat pump what other things are different on your
eco house project compared to just someone putting a heat source above you
there’s there anything different in the construction so yeah we’ve thought about
the construction of the house you know obviously blank canvas it’s not like
we’ve just crashed a satellite on the roof like it looks like some of them
where they just stick solar panels on or stuck things on here and there the whole
house has got features that are basically fully integrated into the
house you can’t see them and they work better and they take up less space the
whole house is fully integrated with a technology that we’ve developed uses
different elevations to pull the air through the cavity so that you can
either cool or heat the air going through the ventilation system using the
natural heat that is stored in the walls one of the worst things you can do on an
eco house is precisely what a lot of eco houses do and that’s what acres of glass
on there now yes you can get solar gains yes is nice you’ve got nice views
however you can’t get away from the basic physics that you lose around nine
times more heat per square meter of glass then you do through an equivalent
wall if you want to hold on to heat the last thing you want to do is have a wall
of glass I’m going to assume them that is why the side of the houses have no
windows no that’s actually a mistake they have got some windows that should
have some windows it looks a bit ugly without windows oh so that’s that’s a
mistake from that’s a mistake on the model I’m I should have put some windows
in there okay I’m glad you cleared that up because I always felt that was a
formal reason well thermally it would be excellent but firmly but on the model is
wrong it might be a bit dark we’re working on a design that involves some
Sun cones some cones Karen Karen okay that’s a special word yeah
and basically it’s an acrylic cone so as the Sun hits it at any angle it’s
similar to a fiber-optic cable that finds down a fiber-optic cable into the
house and you basically flip a switch and you get natural daylight comes
pouring in through you can actually run them through chandeliers and life it
seems how do i afford one of these well at the moment that would be very
difficult and the traditional self-build to do like you see on Grand Designs you
would need to buy a plot of lund for a house like this a larger plot in a nice
area you’re looking around 200 to 250 thousand pounds
the mortgage system at the moment means that you don’t have to buy the site
outright one income bud so you’ve need two hundred and fifty
thousand pounds in cash to buy the site you will then need to put 30 percent of
the build cost in upfront so around six hundred thousand pounds to build a house
like this how are you gonna do this differently we’ve looked at a way of
solving this problem and we’ve got a financial solution in place if you came
to me and said Dean found fantastic site I’d love to live there and I’m really
able to build an eco house on that okay I could go right okay well look
do the initial searches feasibility is it eligible for planning we would then
get the blunt cost yeah look at the build cost yeah take a 10% deposit from
you okay so very normal so housing just like yeah buying a normal house with
normal mortgage once we take that ten percent deposit Keystone future homes
would buy the site build the house out completely okay to this point where it’s
completely fully decorated Sparkle cleaned like a show home okay at which
point you get a normal mortgage on it and move in so what you’re telling me is
we’re in ten percent deposit yeah you’ll build me a normal I can have a normal
mortgage I don’t need any special self certain mortgages no I’m you can just
get normal mortgage on so moving so you’re obviously it’s a straight away
off that I could tell you the AP our interest rate will be low on the
mortgage you know cell phone we just have a higher rate yeah the the cost of entry is a lot lower
yeah and just means it’s more affordable exactly yeah yeah so and it works for
all of us so we’ve got a 10% deposit so there’s a bit of security for us if you
came out of the deal and we’ve stuck with a site with a half-built house on
it yeah you’ve got the advantage of the much lower barrier to entry and you’ve
also got the advantage that because we know what this is costing we’re a
one-stop shop we know the end costs we’ve got our margin built in the actual
build costs so if you were to buy a site in a nice area it was two hundred and
fifty thousand for this i 590,000 for the build cost you’ve got
a total cost there of eight hundred and forty thousand pounds that house could
be worth a million bounce yeah traditionally a developer would build
that house if it could get a million pounds for it and sell it to you for a
million pounds yeah they would do so what you’re actually not only are you
building a house for a lower entry point you’re you if someone wanted to pay you
to build five or six of these and plots of lands they have they’re also got the
opportunity to make some money yeah okay how much Dean yeah thank you Nick
if you are interested in contacting Dean for an eco home these numbers and
details are down below if you end up going any further Dean then please let
me know I’d love to film the first site of groundbreaking next time works great
so there you go that’s what you can’t forget today when you’ll get a free time
work video it’s good down below please subscribe check out my own videos thank
you very much watch this week’s video and I’m telling you again next week

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Net Zero and Passive House building standards and techniques should be normal building practice.
    Air sealing, super insulation, LED lighting, triple pane windows, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, high efficiency appliances, set back thermostats, solar panels with battery storage and a EV charger in the garage or car park area. Doing a blower door test should be standard practice. Sealing air leaks makes a huge difference in comfort and energy savings. I had my older home air sealed and my utility bills dropped by 30% the following month. Well worth the expense. Saving energy saves money on utilities and is good for the planet.

  2. Very interesting video, I agree with Kenz300 that solar panels on all new builds and even mimi wind fans. Could you update us please on where we stand with the Zoe battery leasing now it has been stopped in the uk, where do we stand with existing lease holders ?

  3. I thought the ‘well’ in the roof space would have been the big talking point and would worry about water penetration if I saw that on a property?

  4. Looks great! Is there possibility to have a garage designed into the property? It would be great to keep a solar diverting charge point in there!

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