This Is Intelligent Building

The homes we create are all ‘Different By Design’, that means we pride ourselves on thinking differently – approaching each and every project individually with a holistic approach on how we can maximise sustainability and move forwards positively towards the production of zero carbon housing design. Here are some of the ways in which we design and build our homes to be enjoyed now and how they are fit for the future.

‘The Greenest building is one that already exists’ Carl Elefante

At Acorn we are committed to re-using existing buildings where possible rather than demolishing and replacing – studies have suggested that it takes between 10 and 80 years for a new building that is 30 per cent more efficient than an average-performing existing building to overcome the negative climate change impacts related to the construction process.


The ideal temperature

There’s nothing worse than a building that fluctuates from being freezing cold in the winter to boiling hot in the summer. Our bespoke design process allows us to look at each build individually, to consider the position of the building, taking into account the amount and type of glazing and insulation needed.

Our new build homes are fitted with high performance double or triple glazing as standard, and our roofs and ceilings are thoroughly insulated to ensure limited heat loss.

For our homes within an existing building, old no longer means cold, we evaluate the building’s existing fabric and implement a bespoke specification to ensure the very best thermal efficiency.


Underfloor heating

Many of our homes feature underfloor heating. Unlike radiators that tend to give direct heat to a specific part of your home, low energy underfloor heating distributes heat evenly around a room.

From an energy efficiency point of view, underfloor heating is incredibly beneficial – radiators will circulate water at c.80 degrees however underfloor heating only requires water to be heated to c.40 degrees and is well suited to low or zero carbon technology like ground source heat pumps.

Healthy ventilation

Being able to ventilate your home and bring in fresh air has a multitude of benefits. Some of our homes feature a Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system. MVHR works by taking the hot air created in your home; from warm rooms such as a kitchen or bathroom, it is then extracted, and the stale air is filtered out and blended with fresh, clean air from outside in a heat exchanger and is then used to heat the other rooms in your home that need it most; for instance living areas or bedrooms.

Ground Source Heat Pump

A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is an energy efficient, renewable energy solution. They can be up to 400% efficient, this type of heat pump uses buried pipes to extract the free heat from the ground, this heat is then used to run through an internal heat exchange unit for heating and hot water use in the home. A GSHP helps to reduce your carbon footprint, can lower your energy bills and is a great modern alternative to a gas boiler.

Electric car charging

April 2021 in the UK saw a year-on-year positive move towards electric and hybrid cars, with 566% increase in electric car registrations, a 10,005% increase in the sales of plug-in hybrids and 16,928% for mild-hybrid petrol models. Due to this positive change in the way we drive, many of our developments include communal electric car charging ports, charging ports to individual homes and homes pre-wired to enable electric vehicle charging in the future.

From the birds to the bees – evolving ecology

58% of UK species have declined over the last 50 years, and urbanisation is considered one of the key reasons why. At Acorn we ensure that in the earliest stages of build development that we develop green infrastructure into our schemes, to encourage habitats to prosper.

In an effort to protect our pollinators, a number of our homes feature bee bricks, to allow bees to thrive. We preserve many hedgerows to allow for natural network wildlife corridors and we install bird and bat boxes where needed around development sites – our ecology list is endless.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) mimic natural processes in managing rainfall – by gathering rainwater in specific landscape form and vegetation and then release the water slowly back into nearby rivers and ponds.

SuDS are also key in creating additional areas for insects and wildlife to flourish.