What should you take into consideration while choosing the building plot?
- Check the location of the plot, its nearest surroundings and whether there are factories, rubbish dumps or sewage treatment plants in its vicinity.
- Check if the plot has an access road.
- Check whether the plot is serviced and which utilities it is connected to.
- Pay attention to the shape of the lot. The most optimum plot is square or rectangular. Irregular-shaped plot can be more difficult to develop. What's more, it can dictate the block/body of the building. The lie of the land of the lot is essential as well. More bumpy and rolling plot will force to do additional work, and as a result, the cost will increase.
- Check the plot boundaries, best with the help of a geodetic surveyor
- Check the orientation of the plot as far as the directions of the world are concerned. The best solution is to place the entrance to the building, its utility part and garage on the north side.
- If it is possible, check which side the wind blows from. Make sure if there are draughts.
- Check if there weren't any rubbish dumps, different kinds of underground tanks, remains of foundations, underground buildings etc. in the past.
- Also, make sure whether the plot is tree-covered, and if there is a possibility to build a house without additional clearance of trees.
- Check if the lot is not exposed to the excessive sound intensity level (noise). There can be some big playgrounds, fete places, tourist attractions and roads of high volume of traffic in the vicinity.
- Before you purchase the plot, go there at 9 a.m., at noon, and in the afternoon (about 5 or 6 p.m.). Pay attention to the place where the shadow throws. Remember that the azimuth of the sun is much lower in winter than in summer. Keep in mind that deciduous trees let the light penetrate in winter and give the shadow in summer.
What does the energy-efficient house mean?
The term itself indicates that this building is characterized by its low primary energy ratio (PER) which is necessary to heat the building, domestic water as well as ventilation and air conditioning.
As a result, low PER influences on lower bills for maintenance of the house.
Primary energy ratio defines annual demand for non-renewable primary energy necessary for ventilation, heating of a building and domestic water.
Since 1 January 2014 there have been new regulations defining the highest level of PER at 120 kWh (m²* year). Since year 2017 the highest level of primary energy ratio will equal 95 kWh (m² * year) and from year 2021 it will be 70 kWh (m² * year).
The law does not concern existing buildings.
PER will be defined in Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which must be submitted to the office together with a building design. If the building does not satisfy the regulations defining PER, building permit will not be issued.
Buildings classification in accordance with energy-efficiency rules
An energy-efficient house is such a building, in which coefficient Euco defining actual energy demand for heating a building, domestic water, ventilation and air-conditioning, does not exceed 70 kWh (m² *year).
List of regulations:
- over 70 kWh/m²/year- the house is not energy efficient (it is outside energy efficiency rating)
- 30-70 kWh/m²/year- energy-efficient house
- 15-30 kWh/m²/year- low-energy house
- 1-15 kWh/m²/year- passive house
- 0 kWh/m²/year- zero-energy house
- A house of positive heat balance- an energy-plus house
What is the reason of such low coefficient for energy demand?
Lower energy demand indicator depends on many factors.
The most important ones are:
- Building airtightness
- Thermal insulation of external partitions (a roof and walls) having low heat transfer coefficient
- Reducing the occurrence of thermal bridges (also called cold bridges)
- Using windows and door of low heat transfer coefficient
- Properly matched and well-executed heating and ventilation system of high efficiency
- Building architecture
- Building location, the lie of the land and insolation
- Quality and correctness of building execution
Why is it worth building energy-efficient houses?
In comparison with traditional buildings, energy-efficient houses have a lot advantages.
The most important ones are:
- Reduction of heat losses which results in lower bills for heating
- Lower energy demand which also reduces building maintenance expenses
- Reduction of CO² emission, which makes the building environmentally-friendly
- Friendly microclimate of the building interior (by using mechanical ventilation)
- Higher value of the building
- It’s easier to receive a subsidy or a loan for a building