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1. The use of solar energy to reduce the demand on fossil fuels in housing where it is necessary for high air temperatures to be maintained 24 hours of every day throughout the year for the health and well being of elderly people.
2. The use of solar energy to reduce running costs of medium to low priced family housing to stimulate the demand for such solar features in houses being built by housing developers.
3. To demonstrate to house builders and houseowners the advantages of providing improved control strategies and facilities for "add-on" accessories on a basic low cost solar orientated house.
These three different lines of development will be providing data for comparison against similar conventional non-solar housing using traditional fuels and heating strategies but will also provide comparative data from the different techniques being employed on the demonstration project.
This estate demonstrates the ease with which solar houses are designed, built and marketed. Performance data will be available in 1987. To date surveys have indicated that energy consumption in the houses averaged 48 kwh and 7.1 therms of gas per week.
Over 44 weeks this is 2100 kwh and 312 therms. Predicted heat requirement was 2000 kwh/yr, less than 1/3 of a conventionally designed house.
The project includes sheltered housing, family housing and a house to exhibit new components and operating strategies. The sheltered housing is designed to collect solar gain using a combination of mass wall and direct gain windows. The family housing incorporates direct gain and night insulation in all houses; and more sophisticated sunspace phase change storage and active solar system on a demonstration house.
The first requirement of any solar project is good solar access. A great deal of effort has gone into designing a layout which achieves this. The criterion set was a shading angle of 15 deg. The chief obstacles to achieving this are the attitude of the planning authority and the need to build close to the boundary. Extra costs have been incurred in building foundations close to trees and in creating an acceptable design when all houses are orientated south. House design
The first requirement for housing in this climate is a goodstandard of insulation. The houses are constructed to work as simple direct gain solar collectors, with enlarged southern windows, thermal mass in the construction and insulating night blinds.
One house located within the Family Housing estate will have both passive and active solar features. A glass enclosed conservatory on the south side will demonstrate how other houses on the site could be upgraded by the owners. The entire south facing roof of the Demonstration House will be glazed and covered with solar collectors. The collectors are part of the active solar space and water heating system based on the patented "variable volume, variable flow rate, radiation controlled" system. Larger than usual phase change heat store and a microprocessor based controller are part of the system. During the monitoring period the garage will be used for demonstrating the system to visitors will house a small exhibition, and contain the monitoring hardware.
In the UK climate a good level of energy conservation is the first requirement. Floors, walls and roof are well insulated to a 'U' value below 0.3 W/m2/deg C.
The south wall is used for solar collection. The problem of glare is always significant in passive solar design and in this project is more important because older people are more sensitive to discomfort from glare.
The response to this problem was to design a south wall which consists of a combination of selective surface mass wall and direct gain windows which are fitted with internal shutters.

Call for proposal

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Bournville Village Trust
Oak Tree Lane Selly Oak
B29 Birmingham
United Kingdom

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