If you’re a social media bee, you will have seen we regularly post updates about which part of the world our engineers are in - whether programming lighting control systems in Buckinghamshire, security systems in Gloucester, or installing home cinema systems in Belgravia.
A company invested in the future, we feel it’s important to keep a keen eye on our carbon footprint. Whilst we love to travel, we’re well aware that vehicle emissions account for 20% of UK wide Co2 emissions – and that London is one of the worst offenders in the country for carbon emissions.
Our technology systems are already designed to help new builds, retrofit and developments meet minimum energy performance standards, which we believe takes the pressure of you, the home owner. Now we feel it’s time to take that one step further, into our own work place.
As of March 2015, Inspired Dwellings will be joining forces with Forest Carbon, a company dedicated to carbon offsetting within the UK. The scheme provides a way for like-minded companies to invest the time, money and resources necessary to offset existing Co2 emissions and other dangerous ozone gases.
Each month, Inspired Dwellings will be offsetting the cost of our fleet with money towards planting and maintaining new woodland, each tree of which will absorb up to 2kg of carbon dioxide per annum; a quarter of a tonne in its lifetime. The aim is to reduce flooding, providing habits for nature, capture other pollutants, purify rivers and offer recreational spaces – and help London get rid of its bad rep!
London is going green – What does this mean for your home?
In April 2014 the latest changes to Part L conservation of Fuel and Power came into effect. This represents the next steps in the government’s push towards creating zero-carbon housing by 2016, which includes the lowering of CO₂ emission s from residential and commercial properties through heating and lighting. Currently 12% of the UK’s emissions is generated through heating and lighting of commercial buildings.
Not only this but in April 2018, the proposed legislative changes would make it unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with an EPC rating of F and G which are the lowest 2 grades of energy efficiency.
Home technology, when designed correctly, can take the headache out of the problem.
Cristina, a member of of our dedicated in house lighting team, tells us how Inspired Dwellings work to create the perfect households, with the perfect ambience.
"Not only are we able to design the lighting, we also design the Lighting Control System which will also enable you to meet Part L and gain the certification for Energy Efficiency which is required for all new builds and extensions.
Part L1 Recommend that at least 75% of light fittings (not just the Lamp) should be low energy. This means that the lamp must produce over 400 Lamp Lumens (over 25W in layman’s terms) and has an efficacy (not to be confused with efficiency) of over 45 Lumens per Watt (approximately 9W). Lumens are a way of measuring light emitted. With this taken into consideration traditional fittings using halogens and incandescent lamps are ruled out at energy saving so are used less (25%) to meet the certification.
It is also stated that any fittings under 5W will not be included in the scope as they are unlikely to be useful general area lighting. However with modern technology LEDs are able to produce excellent lighting at just the fraction of Wattage. Because of this advancement you will find LEDs are becoming more and more popular in lighting up residential, commercial and external areas. They can be used as decorative lighting or simple down lighters, or even as fantastic eye stopping Pendants.
Although external lighting may not be at the front of your thoughts it is also important to take note that external fittings must not exceed more than 100W and to be automatically controlled to switch off when not required. This can be achieved by using movement or daylight sensors and also lighting control."
As a company Inspired Dwellings want you to achieve what you want as well as meeting all standards required.
Can my heating be energy efficient?
With IoT products exploding into the market, the average home owner is much more aware of home technology solutions.
You will no doubt have heard Hive's catchy adverts, seen Tube adverts for Google’s latest foray into intelligent thermostats, and seen the stand-alone products filling up the shelves in John Lewis.
Intelligent heating learns your schedule and preferences, adjusting your home’s temperature accordingly. Integrating smart heating into your control system will do a lot more. The best systems will also cross reference this information with the factors outside your home - temperature, time of year, sunset, humidity – even syncing with other aspects of the home, such as window treatments, hot water & air conditioning, to provide the perfect environment without pressing a button. Pretty nifty. And pretty energy efficient. Programming your curtains to close as the sun goes down, or triggering the hot water to activate once the bedside lamp is turned on in the morning, reduces the amount of work your heating system has to do. The system also monitors exactly how much and where you’re using your energy, allowing you to identify problem spots or bad habits around the home… So that’s savings on your energy bill too.
How can you stay green out of the home?
Eco-friendly technology is on the up. No longer purely about being bigger, better and flashier (although this is definitely still on the agenda), technology giants are focusing their efforts on efficiency. Over the past 24 months Samsung has announced a new range of monitors made from 30% of recycled plastic, eco-saving mode on televisions and LG have a whole range of smart kitchen appliances which use less electricity than previous counterparts. Following CES2015, here are some particularly snazzy products, with a very efficient focus.