Fabric FirstWe often get asked by clients to specify "green technologies" such as photovoltaics, ground source heat pumps, wind turbines etc. Whilst these technologies are able to provide a source of renewable energy, the initial cost of installation is often very high. The resultant payback period for these technologies can subsequently take a considerable length of time before clients start to see any financial return on investment. At which point the product might be running at a reduced capacity due to age related wear.
At Fox Ecological Architects, we encourage clients to think about and invest in their building fabric as a first priority. Ensuring that the insulation and air-tightness is to a very high standard minimises the energy demand before you even need to consider where the energy is coming from. Installing energy efficient applicances and fittings also lowers the energy demand.
So, instead of prioratising the purchase of complicated technologies, which could break down and require maintenance, consider investing more wisely on the building fabric. It's not that we completely ignore innovative technologies. Simply, once the fabric has been suitably addressed, then "green technologies" can be more appropriately considered (if needed).