Through recent technological innovations it is now possible to insulate buildings to such an extent that no heating system is required to maintain comfortable temperatures.
There are varying categories of super insulated buildings.
Zero Heat Building
This category of building, through insulation and draft proofing, requires no additional heat source, except for in extreme conditions. The heat provided by the occupantsâ€™ bodies, household appliances, the sun and artificial lighting is sufficient for ordinary requirements.
To achieve this typically insulation of 500mm of cellulose fibre will be required in the roof, 300mm of expanded polystyrene in the floor, 250mm of filled wall cavity and triple glazed windows and doors will be necessary.
Zero CO2 Building
A zero heat building when supplied with electricity and any additional heating from renewable sources becomes a zero CO2 building. It must produce zero net emissions of carbon-dioxide over its lifetime.
The Autonomous Building
Take a zero CO2 building; remove it from mains services (gas, water, electricity and sewage) provide it with electricity generation, sewage processing and water collection solutions (all of which are renewable, sustainable and ecologically sound) and you have an autonomous building.