Award-winning Tremletts Close meets code for sustainable homes

An affordable housing development at Tremletts Close, Tedburn St Mary, in Devon, which has won the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) South West Building Excellence Award for the ‘Best Affordable Housing Development’ has included Daikin Altherma heat pumps to provide energy efficient heating and hot water.

Ten properties have been built on behalf of Teign Housing and Hastoe Housing Association, to provide affordable housing in a cold, exposed area located on the edge of Dartmoor. This project has been carefully planned to meet the local need for affordable housing.

The affordable housing providers installed the air-to-water heat pumps to attain legislative requirements, reduce tenants’ energy consumption and carbon emissions whilst helping to alleviate fuel poverty by achieving lower fuel bills for their tenants.

The two, three, and four-bedroom houses meet the needs of a variety of residents, and used a combination of red cedar cladding and render to provide a stylish, aesthetically pleasing natural look complementing the surrounding environment. The village of Tedburn St Mary lies within stunning countryside to the west of Exeter – therefore the new development had to be of a high quality in terms of construction, design and aesthetics.

Environmental sustainability and affordability were at the forefront of the project with housing being built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes level three, by meeting high energy conservation standards well in excess of the current Building Regulation requirements with high standards of thermal performance and air tightness.

It is widely accepted that for new build homes or where heat emitters are being replaced, low temperature air-to-water heat pumps are ideal because they operate most efficiently when generating low flow temperatures. Underfloor heating systems can be designed to operate with flow temperatures as low as 35°C; heat pump convectors are also designed to operate at similarly low flow temperatures and low temperature radiator circuits typically require 45°C.

The Daikin Altherma LT split 6kW and 8kW air-to-water heat pump systems installed at Tremletts Close each comprise an outdoor unit which has been fitted in the rear gardens of the ten houses. The outdoor unit is connected to an internally fitted Daikin Hydrobox. The heat pump produces renewable energy from the air outside to supply heating via radiators and hot water via a 200 litre capacity cylinder. These systems will enhance ongoing affordability by reducing fuel bills for residents who may be elderly and/or vulnerable.

The heat pump operates at optimal efficiency to meet household requirements, minimising temperature fluctuations and energy-consuming starts and stops, providing greater comfort, reliability and efficiency.

The Tremletts Close project emphasises the way forward in terms of what can be achieved in affordable housing to improve living conditions for tenants whilst improving efficiency and reducing emissions. Air-to-water heat pumps provide a greener alternative to fossil fuels with carbon savings, and help the UK economy in its plight to provide a secure energy supply. A user-friendly control panel was fitted incorporating straightforward settings for the end user and this will provide statistical information on operating conditions and energy consumption. Householders have been provided with a user guide outlining what to expect from the technology.

The housing association clients (Teign Housing and Hastoe Housing Association) will have the option to install solar panels in the future if this is required which can be fully integrated alongside the heat pumps for even greater energy and carbon savings.

Coyde Construction maintained a close working relationship with local residents throughout the building project to ensure minimal disturbance to them. They also worked with Building Control, the clients, and the design team to produce a high standard of building. The installation of the Daikin Altherma LT Split air-to-water heat pump systems was carried out by Radiate Plumbing & Heating Services Ltd, of Exeter.

The Daikin Altherma LT Split System

The Daikin Altherma LT split system is a reliable heat pump even in the most severe weather conditions, having been designed and tested to operate at temperatures as low as -25°C. It has been designed for harsh European winters with a host of frost protection features to avoid freezing and ice build-up for peace of mind and to ensure comfort.

Split systems are the most versatile and energy efficient of all heat pump systems, ideal for both new and refurbishment projects. For example, the latest Daikin Altherma Low Temperature (LT) Split range, with units from 4kW to 16kW, has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) up to 15% higher than the previous range and can be integrated with underfloor heating, heat pump convectors or low temperature radiators.

The latest split systems are designed for modern, well insulated homes with lower heating demands. The new Daikin range includes a 4kW unit that delivers a COP of over 5 (outside air temperature 7°C and water temperature 35°C, tested according to EN14511). The key benefits of a split refrigerant heat pump are that the outdoor unit can be located remotely from the house up to 30 metres away. Also, since water pipework does not pass outside, the heating system does not require glycol antifreeze mix typically associated with monobloc systems.