Cambridge, UK July 3rd, 2012: Gable ends are usually the least attractive aspect of a building - they are also an underused source of renewable energy. Now a Cambridge based company Steinkrug has teamed up with architects Sharman and Knowles to address both these issues. A series of designs have been drawn up that turn a passive solar energy system, developed as part of Steinkrug’s EnergyCrowd project, into a feature that will be suitable for both new build houses and house extensions.
The EnergyCrowd system has been operating as a prototype for over a year and generates a third of the energy needed to heat the house over a twelve-month period. Next stage of the project is to use the system to heat water so that it can be switched from space heating in winter to generating hot water during the summer. Beyond this the EnergyCrowd project is to store heat captured in private and commercial buildings and store it for use during winter months. Heat storage and retrieval will lower the input energy needed for heat pumps and help reduce the build up of ‘urban heat islands’ that form during summer in densely developed areas.
The purpose of the current stage of the project and the work with Sharman Knowles was to come up with designs that were aesthetically pleasing as well as practical and effective in a wide range of buildings and locations.
Peter Kruger of Steinkrug says, “Perhaps the most interesting feature of the system is that here we have a renewable energy installation where the builder is responsible most of the added value.”
Barry Sharman of Sharman Knowles says “Physical items relating to renewable energy should be integrated as part of the building design process and not appear as an ‘Add On’. When relating this to an existing building, the glazed part of the ‘EnergyCrowd’ system can be designed to integrate with the building so that it looks as though it was meant to be there. The principles of the ‘Bauhaus’ (school of building) established in 1919 in Germany, was one of creating a total work of art, which includes architecture. This principle can be applied to new and existing buildings when considering the addition of ‘High Tech’ items”.
For further details on Steinkrug’s EnergyCrowd project can be found at www.theenergycrowd.com
theEnergyCrowd develops innovative alternative energy systems and turns them into new business concepts. It also partners with companies seeking to position their products and construction expertise in the rapidly expanding green energy and emissions reduction industries
About Sharman Knowles
Sharman Knowles Partnership, chartered architects was established in September 1982 and has worked on commercial and private developments across East Anglia and north London. It has won awards from the North Herts Civic Trust and the Ware Society.
More recently, they have been successful in industrial, recreational and specialist projects and clients include Johnson Matthey in London and Royston, Lord and Lady Archer in Granchester and the Cambridgeshire Football Association in Cambridge.
The full release, with diagrams and images can be downloaded from www.steinkrug.co.uk/steinkrug/pdfs/cf_energycrowd_architecture.pdf