Houses in the North West Bicester eco-town are being specially designed over fears that ‘super insulated’ homes could overheat due to global warming.
More extreme summer heatwaves are predicted as global temperatures rise, and overheating has been identified as the biggest threat to North West Bicester following analysis of future weather patterns.
Funding for future climate design has come from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), a body set up by the Government to promote new technologies.
All the eco-town’s houses are due to be built to Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes – meaning they should be 100 per cent energy-efficient, with high levels of insulation.
Councillor Richard Mould, a member of the Eco Bicester Strategic Delivery Board, said: “We’re trying to future proof homes, taking into account global warming for the next 50 years. There’s also provision for shutters to protect them from the heat.”
Every house is due to be fitted with solar panels, and on a blazing summer’s day, most of the electricity will be sent to the grid.
A groundbreaking new system, developed by Bicester firm Zeta Specialist Lighting, could directly power LED lighting from the solar panels.
Funding from the TSB is also being used to install energy-saving measures in a refurbishment of Bicester’s Garth House, which is home to the town council’s offices. New insulation and other measures could cut 40 per cent off the building’s gas bill.
Energy efficiency studies at new homes on the Bryan House site will also be funded by TSB cash.