nicoll russell studios
architects + interior designers

Zero Energy House


Nicoll Russell Studios’ prototype ‘Zero Energy House’ is a house without fuel bills. The house demonstrates the studios’ continuing commitment to sustainable design and offers comfortable, healthy living in a post fossil fuel scenario.
The exceptional performance is achieved primarily by following the ‘Passivhaus’ principles of energy minimisation. Thereafter, renewable energy from roof mounted photovoltaic panels makes up the energy shortfall.
Excellent indoor air quality is achieved by reducing air leakage and by providing ample fresh air which is filtered and heated via a heat recovery/ ventilation unit.
Sustainable living is affordable. The costs associated with enhanced building fabric performance and improved air quality can be balanced by savings on fuel bills. Even without photovoltaic panels, fuel bill savings of approx 80% can be realised when compared to a standard house.
The proposal has been evaluated by experts from the Building Research Establishment and the Passivhaus Institute in Germany.
In adopting ‘Passivhaus’ principles for this design, Nicoll Russell Studio’s are supporting the emergence of this approach as the ‘Gold Standard’ of ultra low energy design. Although there are currently very few examples in the UK, ‘Passivhaus’ or 'Passive House' is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with 30,000 buildings realised to date (the majority since 2000).
We anticipate ‘Passivhaus’ will be adopted widely in the coming years in an effort to meet the increasingly stringent building standards and combat fuel poverty, fuel security and climate change concerns. Nicoll Russell Studios have invested heavily in ‘Passivhaus’ certified training to date and are well placed to meet these future challenges.