Geothermal heat pumps, or ground source heat pumps (GSHP) have been around for more than half a century. The technology exploits the constant temperatures we find right below the Earth’s surface, either for heating or cooling purposes, and has significantly higher efficiency than electrical heating, furnaces or even air source he
You name it, this house has it: an air-source heat pump, a rainwater harvester, central-vacuuming system, triple-glazing and motion-sensitive lighting system. It also features underfloor heating and self-closing loos. The five bedrooms are arranged over three storeys.
The world's first Active House stands at the crest of an estate. Its south-facing roof is covered in solar panels and solar cells, which between them harness more than enough power to keep the occupants warm and the appliances running. In around 30 years' time, if designers have got their sums right, the excess electricity flowing from the house into Denmark's grid will have cancelled out the energy costs of building it, leaving a non-existent footprint on the earth's resources.