Last edited 02 Feb 2021

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ECA Institute / association Website

Ancona eco-mansion

Ancona eco mansion ECA.jpg


[edit] Outline

The words ‘eco’ and ‘mansion’ are rarely used in the same sentence, let alone together in one word. But for EcoMansions founder and CEO Kelly Penson, they represent his ambitious vision for super high-specification houses which also offer excellent lifetime environmental performance.

Enter ‘Ancona’ - a planned five-bedroom, six bathroom, 10-reception room house in Hythe, Kent, which enjoys impressive panoramic views of the English Channel, and an adjoining golf course.

Its 8,300 square feet of stylish internal space will include a gallery-inspired entrance lobby and centrepiece two-flight helical stair, an elevator servicing the three above-ground floors, a luxury spa complex and gym, a stunning garage showroom, and a stylishly-lit wine cellar, among other features.

EcoMansions, the company behind the £5.5m Ancona project, is looking to build this particular home to a ‘low-to no-carbon’, highly energy-efficient, eco-specification.

With a background in manufacturing systems engineering, Kelly has always had a passion for property, nature and the environment, and the multi-million-pound landmark Ancona project is the result of his efforts so far: an uncompromisingly luxurious home with excellent sustainability credentials.

Although at November 2019, Ancona was still on the drawing board, the plans suggested the building could achieve at least an SAP rating of 96. (The higher a building’s SAP score, the lower its running costs - 100 represents a net-zero energy cost, and a rating in excess of 100 shows a net exporter of energy). The whole team designed Ancona as a proof of concept and would like to build an eco-mansion every two years or so.

The brief for the project was for the finished property to cost no more to run energy-wise than an average family home (even including the costs of maintaining the swimming pool and jacuzzi).

“Our core team comprises a conventional architect, a Passivhaus-qualified architect, and interior designer, a builder and a skilled project manager, plus a QS, and an M&E consultant,” said Kelly. “By working collaboratively right from the start of this project, we aim to show that super-prime homes can be truly sustainable, beautiful, and functional.”

“I’m expecting that by going through this process and showing how it can be done, we can encourage the luxury part of the industry to head in a more environmentally conscious direction.”

“At the customer end, there may be a broad perception that most high net-worth individuals don’t care much about the eco-friendliness of their homes,” Kelly added. However, he is certain there are “many high net-worth individuals out there who would prefer to have lower environmental impacts, if it’s an option”.

[edit] Ancona in a nutshell

Ancona’s shell is a three-storey flat roof dwelling, plus basement. The flat roof elements consist of a mix of terraced balcony areas with the majority being laid to wild-flower sedum grass.

The glazing is an Austrian Passivhaus-rated triple-glazed system – hugely airtight, and designed for inclement conditions like the ‘near-horizontal rain’ sometimes seen in and around the Kent coast.

The solid wall construction mainly comprises 100% recyclable 10Nm clay blocks (190mm thick) and 225mm of 100% recyclable Portuguese cork, which creates an extremely efficient thermal envelope.

Meanwhile, three Vent-Axia MVHR (mechanical ventilation heat recovery) units will manage the internal environment. There will also be geothermal ducting in the garden along with a discreetly installed 8kW solar PV bank. Four Tesla Powerwall batteries will store generated electrical energy for subsequent use.

[edit] Passivhaus

Passivhaus is a rigorous standard for building energy efficiency. To be deemed Passivhaus compliant, buildings must meet the following requirements:

[edit] All this means that to achieve the Passivhaus Standard in the UK typically involves:

[edit] More information

Check the progress of Ancona HERE

ECA has produced a Commercial Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction Checklist to help its members discuss the scope for energy-saving and carbon reduction measures with commercial- and public-sector customers. More information is available HERE

[edit] About this article

This article was provided by the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and previously appeared in its ECA Today magazine (Winter 2019, Issue 42) entitled 'High net worth, low-carbon footprint: The Ancona‘eco-mansion’. It can be accessed HERE.

Other articles by the ECA on Designing Buildings Wiki can be accessed HERE.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


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