TSB funded research and development projects on Bicester eco town exemplar

 

We currently have 3 Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded projects on the NW Bicester Exemplar:

Rethinking the Build Process

A2Dominion, BioRegional and the NW Bicester team have just this week secured £668,000 from the TSB to conduct a 4 year programme of improving the building process. This constitutes 50% funding for a £1.3million research programme. The TSB contribution is being matched by the project partners.

Members of the design and construction team will collaborate with Loughborough University civil engineering department to map out all the steps, the information flows and the complex inter dependencies  that are needed to deliver the exceptionally high performance of these homes.

They will monitor and test the homes throughout the 4 year programme and, thanks to this funding, they will have the resources and tools to be able to continuously and iteratively improve the efficiency of how these homes are delivered.

A2D, their design team, the contractors and sub-contractors will have the tools to identify any performance gaps, any opportunities for improved communication, greater efficiencies or for cost savings.

This project is looking to progressively reduce the build cost premium of these Code 5+ homes whilst also providing greater certainty of high performance.

Partners:

  • A2Dominion
  • BioRegional
  • Silver
  • Willmott Dixon
  • PRP

Design for Future Climate

The team of Hyder, Farrells, Oxford Brookes, PRP and BioRegional modelled the future climate for Bicester in light of climate change predictions. We identified two key risks: water stress and overheating in buildings.

Water stress is addressed at the Exemplar through best practice in water efficient fittings, extensive rainwater harvesting, SUDS and longer term water neutrality across the Masterplan.

We have done groundbreaking work on addressing overheating. Across the industry, it is well known that many code 5 and 6 homes overheat. We have modelled our homes with the more extreme future heat waves and we have adapted them so they should not overheat.

The orientation of homes and the positioning of windows are key.

The homes have also been future proofed by using internal opening windows so that shutters can be fitted easily at a later date.

Partners:

  • Hyder Consulting
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Farrells
  • BioRegional

Reports written:

Smart Demand

BioRegional, Carnego and Bicester-based lighting specialists Zeta secured £100K of TSB funding for a 1 year feasibility study to develop “smart grid” solutions at a house (or neighbourhood) scale.

NW Bicester has a very extensive solar PV array. This project will find ways to use more of the PV electricity output within each home, rather than exporting it off site during sunny periods and then having to buy electricity back from the grid at other times.

The team are looking at:

  1. House or neighbourhood scale battery storage,
  2. DC wiring direct from the PV panels (which saves around 30% of energy)
  3. Automated timers on appliances like washing machines and dishwashers so they run when the sun is shining
  4. LED lighting
  5. Innovative resident engagement so they can make the most of the solar panels on their roofs and so reduce their bills

As a result of this project, Zeta have already produced a new “smart” lighting solution and patented the technology.

This work will feed into the wider push for smart grid solutions to the national grid. It will help to avoid expensive upgrades to the existing grid as more and more renewable come on line.

Partners:

  • Carnego
  • Zeta Lighting
  • BioRegional