Voltis Home features in Housing Innovation Showcase
An innovative £3.3m project to showcase how sustainability and new construction technologies can be incorporated into affordable housing programmes will feature homes kitted out with high performance domestic voltage optimisation units from Marshall-Tufflex.Housing Innovation Showcase 2012, a partnership between Kingdom Housing Association (KHA) & Fife Council, with support from Fife Construction Forum & Green Business Fife, features 27 homes new homes on a site in Dunfermline, Scotland, each built by one of 10 development partners on behalf of Fife Housing Partnership and Fife Economy Partnership.
Glenrothes based Lomond Homes, in conjunction with KHA, has been tasked with building a pair of semi-detached two and three bedroom homes for the project, and it is these that are being fitted with the Voltis Home domestic voltage optimisation system from Marshall-Tufflex. The units were supplied by Edmundson Electrical, Kirkcaldy.
Lomond Homes senior architectural technician Derek Grubb said, ‘When we heard about Voltis Home it sounded fantastic and just the kind of thing the Housing Innovation Showcase project would be interested in. We pitched the idea to the KHA development team and it was accepted. We are the only exhibitors showcasing voltage optimisation. It is a fantastic technology that’s simple, inexpensive and gives an immediate benefit from the moment it is installed.’
The Voltis Home units, which measure just 300mm x 240mm x 147mm, have each taken about one hour to install and, because Voltis Home is rated to 60A, there is no need to isolate some circuits such as the cooker or power showers, making installation simple.
Lomond Homes believes that domestic optimisers offer RSLs and homeowners a good value energy management solution, as Grubb explained, ‘For a relatively low cost with a potentially short payback period Voltis Home can be installed, bringing instant benefits by reducing power bills and extending the life of appliances.
‘I am also very impressed by the safety features built-in to Voltis Home, for example its ability to cope with power spikes and equipment that draws high electrical loads. That it can be easily retrofitted and has no user controls are added bonuses. RSLs want to address fuel poverty and have a keen interest in the welfare of their tenants, making voltage optimisation an exciting proposition for them. We’ll also be fitting Voltis Home as standard on our next 133 property private development at The Avenue, Lochgelly.’
The Lomond Homes properties are being constructed using its ‘Breathing Wall’ system utilising ‘Dynamic Insulation’ technology, which transforms external walls into heat exchangers, capturing escaping heat and using that to pre-warm incoming air, reducing the demand for space heating.
Bill Banks, deputy chief executive and development and property services director for Kingdom Housing Association, said, ‘The Innovation project is an excellent opportunity to showcase the various house systems and new technologies. The voltage optimisation system is a technology we were very keen to test, particularly given the benefits this could bring to tenants in respect of fuel costs.’
Housing Innovation Showcase 2012 runs from 15th-31st May, after which the properties will be tenanted. A key element of the project is a comprehensive monitoring of the performance of the different house systems and a comparative analysis of the benefits of different renewable energy options and other enhanced specifications on some of the properties.