Four new build award winning eco-homes that claim to be the first domestic buildings in London to tap into the limitless energy resource beneath the earth’s crust are using the latest Energysaver data-logging ventilation control equipment from Airtech Environmental Systems.

Called ‘Earthdome’, the property comprises four apartments which present a benchmark in eco living and a sound commercial proposition for the use of ground source heat technology. The building has six bore holes, the deepest at 40m, and pumps return water at the local earth temperature of 10 to 12°C. The system raises the ambient temperature in the dwellings to an average of 18 to 20°C, a comfortable level for radiantly heated homes. Heating bills for residents could be as low as £60 per year.

Bob Harris, the owner, designer and builder of ‘Earthdome’, engaged Airtech as ventilation consultants at the outset of the project in Norbury, in the London Borough of Merton. “Airtech were immediately responsive to my ideas” says Mr Harris. “They fulfilled their task of ensuring that the environmental conditions within the properties matched the superior standards and integrity of the building’s pioneering eco credentials.”

‘Earthdome’ features two different Airtech products – Energysaver Sensamatic bathroom fans and Energysaver Datamatic kitchen fans which combine to ensure Earthdome is free from condensation, damp and mould at all times.

For many years Sensamatic fans have been the benchmark extractor fan installed in social housing to control humidity. Designed and manufactured for long term use in kitchens and bathrooms, two models offer low energy costs for tenants in accordance with the Government’s Directive regarding energy efficient electrical appliances in social housing. Each fan incorporates a contamination proof microprocessor controlled ceramic sensor that automatically monitors RH and switches on to reduce humidity to preset levels.

The Energysaver Datamatic fans feature all the benefits of the Sensamatic range plus the capability to record, in ‘real time’, important environmental data including: RH, temperature, RH set point, vapour pressure, dew point, power interrupts and every instance when the fan has run. Data is held for a rolling period of 60 weeks and can be downloaded on demand at anytime via either a cable or infrared link to a hand-held reader. Data can subsequently be read on screen immediately or be transferred to a PC for analysis and printing. The information captured ultimately reveals exactly how effective an extraction system is at controlling condensation and has the potential to deliver substantial energy savings in social housing installations.

All the fans conform to IEE 16th Edition SELV circuit and offer extraction rates of either 90 m3 per hr (25 ltrs/sec) or 230 m3 per hr (64 ltrs/sec).

Bob Harris is a lecturer in eco building at Richmond-upon-Thames tertiary college and a founding member of the Ecological Design Association. With a focus on energy efficiency combined with use of the latest allergy free materials and techniques the building creates the ultimate healthy living environment for occupants. Optimum use is made of natural light in each room. Other innovative features include ‘shielded’ and ‘smoothed’ electrical systems that minimise the impact of electrical waves as well as offering cost savings.