Building features

• In considering the plan a compact building shape reduces heat loss.

• Some situations may allow for the protection afforded by earth-berming and buffer spaces.

• Heated areas within the dwelling should be isolated from unheated spaces by providing insulation in the partitions between such spaces.

• Glazing must be low emissivity (Low E) double glazing, preferably in a timber frame. If metal frames are necessary there should be a thermal break between the frame and the glass.

• Areas of non-beneficial windows should be minimised.

• The detailing of joints in the building fabric can have a significant impact on energy efficiency.

• Potential cold bridges should be eliminated.

• Fabric insulation which is significantly better than the minimum required by regulation is strongly recommended.

• Air tightness should achieve a level of at most three air changes per hour at 50 pascals pressure in association with heat recovery ventilation.

• Care should be taken in the design of conservatories which should be able to be isolated from the main occupied area; at the same time account should be taken of probable air flow patterns. The heating of conservatories usually results in a net energy deficit.

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