Colin Heal of Wheathampstead, England has shared details of his future-proofed home with the BBC. His home has 35 solar panels that produce so much energy that Heal and his wife even sell surplus energy.
Their home is fully electric, and Mr. and Mrs. Heal are planning to buy solar battery storage so that all of their energy can be useable. In the surrounding area, flooding a huge concern, but the Heals have circumvented this issue as their home is built on an elevation.
The driveway in their home has gravel that drains water instead of pooling it and their green roof reduces run off caused by rain. As you might expect, even their rear garden has a purpose: it acts as a soak-way, which is basically a tank made of crates that collects excess rainwater and then slowly drains it into the subsoil.
Under the surface, pipes connect to a ground source heat pump. This pump takes heat from the ground and takes it up to the level needed to heat the underfloor and the hot water. Heat pumps are a lot more efficient than boilers, which usually use fossil fuels.
The Heals’ home has a wood burning stove which is useful for the time of the year where temperatures dip down below freezing and the heat pump is not as efficient. Of course, the stove also looks lovely.
With higher energy needs, increased flood risks, and changing temperatures, sustainable homes like Mr. Heal’s will become much more necessary.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has concluded that the UK is not well equipped for climate change and has issued a stark warning to the United Kingdom: that the risk is only increasing and that adaptation action is lagging.
While there have been some changes on climate mitigation and limiting greenhouse has emissions, experts say there’s an increasingly important need to adapt the world to more extreme climatic changes.