Low Energy Home, Pantymwyn, North Wales

Project: Low Energy Home, Pantymwyn, North Wales

Selfbuilder, Stuart Barley has just completed his low energy home in Pantymwyn, North Wales. The build is a timber frame construction, which incorporates Total Home Environment’s compact service unit, the Genvex Combi mechanical ventilation, heat recovery heat pump (MVHRHP).

The house was designed to have zero carbon requirements through the use of MVHRHP.  High levels of insulation, an airtight membrane and energy efficient lighting have also been installed.


The Genvex Combi combines heat recovery ventilation, a heat pump to add more heat to the air and a domestic hot water heat pump appliance that has up to 95% efficiency. The Combi changes the air inside the house once every two hours whilst using efficient counter-current heat exchangers to recover heat and the air-source heat pumps further heats the home as well as the domestic water requirements. The hot water cylinder can be connected to a second heat source and Stuart has decided to install solar panels in the near future that will link to the system to receive free hot water.

The high level of insulation in Stuart’s home meant that a heat recovery ventilation system was needed to introduce fresh air to the building without a loss of heat through traditional forms of ventilation, as no central heating system had been planned.

Stuart commented, ‘The Genvex Combi system has performed very well and has fulfilled all our hot water and heating requirements. We wanted to have a more economical heating system after previously having an oil burner and felt Total Home Environment provided the best solution.”

Additional underfloor heating located in the kitchen and the bathroom of the property has been utilised to simply provide supplementary heating during the winter months. In the summer, the Combi system provides fresh, cooled air into the property.

The Genvex Combi 185 offers priority switching to heat water first in the 185 litre integrated storage cylinder and can be fitted with a bare tube heat exchanger for use with solar heating or a wood-burning boiler. Maximum airflow is 350m³/h and it provides ventilation, space heating and hot water for up to three people in a 292m² home.

Stuart, an MRI Engineer, had planned to build an extension on his previous home but decided to start from scratch, he commented, “We lived in our 1930’s home for 12 years. We wanted more room and initially we had plans drawn for an extension. The costs to renovate and extend were large, so we decided to wipe the slate clean and demolish. We have never built anything of note before and we are really pleased with the final results.”