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Burley, J and Pan, W (2010) Adoption of air source heat pumps for low carbon homes. In: Egbu, C (Ed.), Proceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference, 6-8 September 2010, Leeds, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 2, 1361–70.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: air source heat pump; efficiency; low carbon; new-build homes; renewable technology
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-4-5
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2010-1361-1370_Burley_and_Pan.pdf
  • Abstract:
    Air source heat pumps (ASHP) are a recognized form of low carbon technology, and have been encouraged in the UK for supplying space and water heating in the domestic sector. However, the UK uptake is low compared to many other countries, with previous research having reported real and perceived barriers in both cost and non-cost terms. This paper contributes to the knowledge by examining the operational efficiency of ASHP and exploring the perspectives of the developer and householders on utilizing such systems. The research was carried out through a case study with a medium-sized developer utilizing ASHP for a low carbon new-build development in East England. The case study involved document analysis, face-to-face interviews with the firm’s senior management team, and a postal questionnaire survey of occupants in homes installed with an ASHP. The performance of ASHP systems in typical occupied homes was compared with that in a monitored ‘prototype’ property. The results reveal that the ASHP efficiencies measured in these two ways were generally consistent. The householders were positive of the economy, space impact, reliability and maintenance of ASHP, but negative of its visual impact and the noise issues. Furthermore, the majority of respondents were willing to choose or recommend a property installed with an ASHP. However, occupants’ lack of understanding of efficient ASHP operation was identified as a significant barrier to realizing the full benefits of using such technology. Although the developer utilized ASHP for building low carbon homes, they were concerned about the not yet well-established supply market and the current lack of ASHP efficiency recognition in the regulatory framework. The findings should enable more informed decisions of adopting renewable technology in low carbon home building.