Tony’s house, UK

Project: Tony’s house, UK

Tony Cowling has set the standards for self-builders with his brand new eco home in Sonning, Reading.

Tony has managed to achieve his ideal home by eliminating any heating bills, many a homeowner’s dream. Total Home Environment’s Genvex System was part of this spectacular build.

The house is designed to have low energy requirements and this is achieved through a combination of passive solar design, extremely high levels of insulation and by storing excess solar energy produced during the summer in an inter-seasonal thermal store.

The total heat loss for Tony’s house in October 2010 was 100w and an average of only 700w in February, six times less than an average home, Tony commenting, “It is not possible to buy a boiler or heating system to cater for energy losses that small - the Genvex is all I need.”

A comfortable internal environment is maintained by the use of Total Home Environment’s Genvex GE Premium 2 and this was the perfect solution for the low energy home. The Genvex’s counter-current heat exchanger retains the vast majority of the heat in the expelled stale air and further heat is occasionally supplied to the air by the heat pump. Additionally, there is the benefit of using the heat pump to supply cool air during the summer.

The heat recovery ventilation appliance consists of extract air fans, F7 pollen supply air filter, G4 extract air filter and an Optima 300 Design controller.

The heat recovery ventilation system offers a solution for systematic, energy-saving ventilation that constantly replaces stale air inside the building and extracts moisture to maintain healthy humidity levels inside the house.

Commenting on the Genvex System, Tony said, “The house is air tight, so I’m pleased the Genvex system is quiet, easy to control and can do all the heating my home needs even when the outside temperature is -3°C. It makes the internal environment lovely, fresh, warm and odour free. Genvex is the best - I think it’s the Rolls Royce in heat recovery!”

The Genvex system provides the ideal solution for modern low energy homes. There are none of the heat losses associated with trickle vents and extractor fans and it allows buildings to comply with Part F (adequate ventilation) and Part L (energy conservation) of the Building Regulations.

It took Tony 20 years to succeed in getting planning permission for his build and he now hopes to have made an impact on the way in which houses are built in the UK.

Further information and technical advice on the Genvex systems is available from Total Home Environment on 0845 260 0123, email or by visiting the company’s website at