The energy used to heat and cool our homes is a big source of carbon emissions, hence the drive to build more new ‘zero carbon’ buildings. But what if you’re already happily living in your home, is there nothing you can do to reduce your bills and emissions? Well of course you can insulate and double glaze etc, but that only goes so far. But now Ecoworks, a German company based out of Berlin, has developed a full retrofit process which can turn an existing property into a ‘carbon neutral’, zero energy bill home faster than you can say ‘lickity-split’ (or its German equivalent).
The system uses advanced robotics and AI to 3D scan, measure, and craft an insulating shell which drops over the top of the existing structure. Most – 80% – of the construction work is done by the robots in the factory, and installation of the finished shell can be done in a couple of days on-site by traditional craftsmen. Of course to reach zero energy needs more than just insulation, so the process also includes solar panels and air source heat pumps in the basement.
We’re not given a price for the process, so we’re assuming it’s not going to be super cheap. But in the long run removing home energy costs, especially in the current climate with massive fuel price increases, means that these retrofited homes could pay for themselves very quickly. And be much easier to sell on. Very interesting technology all round.