The zero carbon building, developed by University of Cambridge architects as a prototype for future living, is based on a 600-year-old Medieval design that retains heat from the sun while cooling naturally in the summer.
Any extra energy needs are provided by solar panels on the roof and a woodchip boiler.
The unusual dome-like design is based on a Medieval technique, originating in Spain, known as "timbrel vaulting".
The four-bedroom "Eco-house", which will feature on the Channel 4 programme Grand Designs tonight (Wed), cost £445,000 to build.
A four bedroom house without all these fancy features is more like £100,000 (maybe £150,000) to build.
I\’m not sure that anyone thinks that the net present value of the energy usage of a house over its lifetime is £300,000, so this isn\’t in fact a sensible thing to build.
"Many of the costs come from the new technology it uses for energy storage and generation. If those become more widely available, making a similar house cheaply in much larger quantities may be possible."
Quite. The only problem with low cost green energy generation is that there isn\’t, as yet, any method of low cost green energy generation. I agree absolutely that all sorts of wonderful things would be possible (even will be possible when) if there were, but there ain\’t.