At Hebhomes we design under the principle of “fabric first”, meaning our highly insulated building envelopes minimise the amount of energy required to heat the house. This allows them to achieve extremely high energy performance ratings. And we do this with the most sustainable of materials, timber. Our designs are offered in two structural timber systems.
Our space frame system has been developed in Scotland by Ochil Timber and uses a “space stud”. This minimises the risk of cold-bridging that you find in standard timber stud kits, and has a deep profile. This not only allows us to fill the panel with a great depth of insulation, it also has a great visual impact at the openings due to the depth of wall.
Structurally insulated panels from Hemsec have been the standard for Hebhomes for a number of years. Because the insulation is blown in to the panels it is fully bonded ensuring that there are no gaps.
HebHomes carefully selects high performance timber windows and doors for our homes which are designed to far exceed current performance standards. They offer long life expectancy and excellent characteristics in terms of airtightness, weather performance and thermal performance. Along with careful detailing they contribute to reduced energy loss and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Our standard product from Nordan offers a U-value of 1.2 W/(m².K) but we also offer upgrades to triple-glazing and Passive Standard windows with a U-value of 0.7 W/(m².K). Windows can also be upgraded with aluminium cladding and solar reflective glass.
Utilising our advanced construction systems, high quality windows and doors, and careful detailing of junctions, HebHomes lend themselves to achieving high levels of airtightness. This improves thermal efficiency and reduces the demand for space heating. As well as reducing running costs this reduces the emission of the greenhouse gases associated with global climate change.
Our designs have large areas of glazing which can be used to harness solar gain. All our living spaces have the ability to be cross ventilated, allowing the homeowner to control the internal environment. In some cases glazing will require solar protection to avoid overheating in the summer so we have designed the option of trellises to act as solar shades.
Although natural ventilation design is possible with our airtight construction details and low infiltration rates, many of our customers install a ventilation system. There are several options. The most efficient systems are automated and can act as climate control for your home. MVHR, a ‘mechanical ventilation heat recovery’ system, has extract and supply air terminals in all rooms of the house connected to a central unit that controls the air in an efficient and balanced way. This system is designed by our service engineering specialists and has several advantages over a natural ventilation strategy. All the air in the home is filtered and fresh with the entire volume of air changing every 30 minutes. This reduces moisture, pollutants, odours and humidity, which helps with health and allergies, security and midges (windows can be shut and locked in summer), and protection from outside noise.
Hebhomes works with a specialist heating consultant to offer you a range of renewable technology options for heating your house. This includes air source heat pumps (ASHP), ground source heat pumps (GSHP), solar panels and photovoltaic cells, among others. You can choose the system that works best for your house and your budget. All these technologies may be eligible for a loan from the Energy Savings Trust in the different nations of the UK, and may also allow you to access feed-in tariffs (FIT) where you get paid for generating electricity.
All our homes aim to meet the challenge of the zero-carbon economy, and we are constantly looking at ways of improving our products and to set an example of how we can protect our planet in the challenging times ahead. Timber as a construction material is renewable when sustainably sourced and has a lower initial embodied energy when compared to other methods of construction. Timber buildings act as a store for some of the carbon dioxide absorbed by trees during their life. But we also realise that true sustainability comes when we build houses that fit in to our beautiful landscapes and built-environments, ones that future generations will cherish and preserve.