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Last edited 02 Feb 2021
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.
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.
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.
“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”.
 Ancona in a nutshell
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.
- An annual heating and cooling demand of not more than 15 kWh/m2 per year, or be designed with a peak heat load of 10 W/m2.
- Total primary energy consumption (for heating, hot water and electricity) must not be more than 60 kWh/m2 per year.
- The building must not leak more air than 0.6 times the house volume per hour as tested by a blower door.
- The specific heat load for the heating source at design temperature is recommended, but not required, to be less than 10 W/m2.
 All this means that to achieve the Passivhaus Standard in the UK typically involves:
- Accurate design modelling using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP).
- Very high levels of insulation.
- Extremely high-performance windows with insulated frames.
- Airtight building fabric.
- ‘Thermal bridge-free’ construction.
- A mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery.
 More information
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
 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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- An Introduction to Passive House - review.
- Code for sustainable homes
- Fabric first.
- Green deal.
- Home Quality Mark.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
- NHBC technical standards.
- Passive design.
- Saffron Acres, Leicester, the UK’S largest Passivhaus residential development.
- The building as climate modifier.
- Warming houses using free CO2.
- Wood and passivhaus.
- Zero carbon homes.
- Zero carbon non-domestic buildings.
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