Carbon Action Project Launch Booklet | Page 19

The House of Dyer that Lynda and John built For many years, we lived in a house that was hot in summer and cold in winter. In winter, the sources of heating used at different times were heating oil, electricity and natural gas. The house was draughty and poorly insulat- ed, and so the energy that went into keeping the house warm all too easily escaped from the house. This was not only expensive, but not particularly nice to the environment, because of direct emissions when burning heating oil and gas in the house and indirect emissions when using electricity sourced from coal-fired power stations. In summer, we just sweltered on the hottest days, using fans and a small portable evaporative air conditioner to try to make things just a lit- tle bit more comfortable. We felt that something could be done, not only to make living in the house more tolerable, with varying seasonal conditions, but also to re- duce our carbon footprint in living in the house. Choices included reno- vating the existing structure or rebuilding on the same site. We decided against other options like moving elsewhere because we liked the loca- tion, including proximity to public transport, local shops and other ser- vices. After weighing up some of the advantages and disadvantages of reno- vating versus rebuilding, we decided to rebuild. We engaged the ser- vices of architect Alan Morschel, who designed Ross Walker Lodge. Features of the new house • Ageing-in-place The house has wide doors, minimal steps, and some grab rails, with provision for installation of more as required. • Modest size The term “modest” is subjective, but, the smaller the space, the less energy is required to maintain a comfortable environment in the house. • Insulation There is insulation in the ceiling and walls, and underneath/around the slab floor. • Air tightness The house is constructed to minimise gaps that could allow unin- tended airflow into or out of the house. Carbon Action Project 16 1 March 2020