Demonstration House for Environmental Monitoring

Vitromite is researching the environmental performance of structural integrated panels, boards, solar panels and domestic scale batteries at its test-bed house.

Vitromite has built a demonstration house adjacent to its factory at the Scottow Enterprise Park in Norfolk.

The house will be used to monitor the environmental performance of the Vitromite structural integrated panels, boards and fixings used in its construction.

It will also act as a testbed for the research and development of solar panels, domestic scale batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall  and other products that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environmental performance of the house.

It will also enable prospective architects, developers and product designers to test the environmental performance of different windows and doors and monitor thermal efficiency and environmental performance.

We expect the heating bill of the house to be between very low and zero, but we will also be able to assess the year-round thermal efficiency of houses constructed using the Vitromite Build System. Many buildings constructed with enough insulation to keep them warm in winter are stifling and uncomfortable to live in during the summer. They have limited ventilation and require excessive air conditioning in hot weather which considerably increases energy consumption.

The house will be a testbed for experiments with different technologies, both already on the market and those in development and approaching commercialisation in a real house. It will give us and technology developers invaluable information on adjustments and slight design changes.

The house also helped us streamline the delivery, build and fit-out of the building and the integration with traditional construction components like floor cassettes and stairway design. These experiences led us to accelerate development and expected launch of our own flooring system.

A full and complete build to code specification is also needed to complete a full building control sign off which is needed for any, warranted, mortgageable building.

The density of the walls, the sound proofing and thermal performance of the house is difficult to explain on paper. People who visit the house get a real understanding of the quality of the Vitromite Build System.

Key aims of the project are to:

  • Demonstrate speed of build
  • Accurately calculate material cost
  • Accurately calculate build cost
  • Accurately calculate fit-out time and cost
  • Assess integration with traditional suppliers and components like floor cassettes, door and windows.
  • Assess the energy requirements of temperature control and monitoring
  • Assess temperature delay from outside and internal change
  • Assess air tightness
  • Assess sound insulation properties
  • Assess integration with fixings and fixtures
  • Assess and record people’s perceptions and comments