Zero Energy Renovation Train (ZED Train)

By 2020 the energy consumed by houses needs to be reduced by 20% as per EU regulations. The Retrofit Energy Performance Gap shows a 50% gap between the calculated and actual energy consumption of renovated buildings because homeowners just turn up their thermostats from 16 to 18 degrees and stop wearing sweaters. A better solution is to renovate 20% of houses to Zero Energy than reduce the energy demand of all houses by 20% because the performance can be guaranteed!

ZED Train from Viking House on Vimeo.

Zero Energy Renovations are completed using Offsite Construction methods, Passive House insulation standards, Passive House windows, FreshR HRV and an Integrated PV-T Tri- Solar roof. The Zero Energy Renovation Train (ZED Train) was piloted successfully in 2013 with 350 houses completed, three thousand ZED Renovations will be completed in 2014 and one hundred thousand ZED Renovations/ annum are planned up until 2021.

Renovations are Architecturally designed to guarantee an attractive finish.

External wall panels are factory finished using high impact resistant durable materials.Triple glazed 0.8W/m2.K windows/doors are factory fitted.

Ductless/filterless FiWi Heat Recovery Ventilation units with revolutionary fine wire heat exchangers are fitted into the external walls creating internal zones with external quality air, they switch on automatically when Indoor Air Quality drops with the aid of CO2 and Humidity monitors and balance automatically when the wind blows.

Solar heating pipes fitted to the internal face of the wall panels create an alternative solar heating distribution system, solar heat charges the thermal mass of the walls in winter creating a heat-loss barrier and charges the earth beneath the house in summer to be used as a solar thermal heat store eliminating winter ground heat loss during the 1 month heating period.

Roof tiles are removed and an air-tightness membrane is fitted over the old roof before the new integrated Solar SIPs PV-T roof sandwich is installed.

Gas boilers or open fireplaces are no longer required because the combination of Passive House principles and Solar Heating reduces the heating demand by 98%, so energy credits earned in the summer from Solar PV easily offset electricity used for heating and hot water between the 15th Dec and the 10th of Jan each year. There's often sufficient excess energy to power an electric car!

Inhabitants stay living in the houses for the entire process because work is completed quickly from the outside!

The renovation train moves on to the next house when the first is finished so 1 house gets completed every day.

Pre-constructed scaffolding is lifted with the crane from house 1 to house 5, speeding up construction times.

This method is ideally suited to Housing Associations and Social Housing where all houses in one block have one owner.

This solution puts us at the forefront of ZED renovations, making our experience and knowledge in demand throughout the world!

We're fully BIM compliant which generates 3D live models of every project, this reduces materials waste and ensures each project is delivered accurately and on time.

Health and Safety risk is substantially reduced because panels are produced in a safe controlled environment and time on site is minimised.

Advantages for house owners;
Continuity of rent payments, energy prices are increasing by 10%/annum so in January 2025 tenants won't have to decide whether to pay their rent or their energy bill.

Tenant satisfaction
increases substantially.

Periods between renters is reduced because they never want to leave.
Houses are future proofed for 50 years.
20% of houses are renovated by 100% instead of 100% of houses by 20% so less overall upheaval for tenants.
Condensation, air-quality, fungus and mould problems are solved in one swoop!
No issues with tenants disappearing after clocking up a large unpaid energy bills because there isn't any energy bills!
Energy Suppliers have an obligation to fund energy saving measures so may be more willing to invest in flagship ZED Train projects where they get guaranteed savings.
5 years later the next 20% of houses can be renovated to Zero Energy, so the train keeps chugging along!

The Money
With new built Council houses costing €100k the rent pays for the houses in 15 years so the house is making money for the next 15 years before a major renovation is required.

If pension funds are guaranteed a repayment of say €150/month then the ones we've spoken to are willing to finance the renovations if they're guaranteed continuous payments, they actually prefer if the money is paid back over longer periods of say 50 years which is the lifespan of a Zero Energy renovated house making the repayments easier. In many cases 1-2 months rent/annum pays back the Pension Fund. Dutch tenants were happy to pay 50% of their old energy bill/month in increased rent, this almost pays back the renovation costs, with rent increases it should break after 5 years.

We've estimated the cost of each ZED Renovation at €55-€60k/house.
A renovation that reduces the energy usage of a house by 20% costs €15k, because of the energy performance gap you'd need to renovate 7 houses costing €95k to get the same savings as renovating one house to Zero Energy, so our solution makes better economic sense.
When a house is renovated to 20% energy saving, by picking the lowest hanging fruit, what's the next step when you have to reduce the energy usage by a further 20% ten years later?