news from BRE

published: 12/6/2012

Sarah Beeny launches refurbished Sigma Home on BRE Innovation Park

Rexel’s sustainable retrofit showcases an energy efficient home in action.

TV property developer Sarah Beeny visited the BRE Innovation Park today to launch the newly refurbished Sigma Home. Rexel Energy Solutions in partnership with the Stewart Milne Group have retrofitted the house with the latest energy efficient products to demonstrate how homeowners can achieve significant and measurable energy and carbon savings with readily available green technologies.

Sarah Beeny with BRE CEO Peter Bonfield and RExel's Nick Smith

Photo: Sarah Beeny with BRE CEO Peter Bonfield (left) and Rexel's Nick Smith

The Sigma Home was the first home in the UK designed to level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Comprising two units, one complete (furnished) dwelling shows the products working in situ and the other is left unfinished to showcase the technologies and how they contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the property.

The retrofit was carried out in two stages as part of an evolving project which will be constantly updated to incorporate the latest advances in the marketplace. Sustainable innovations include:

  • 2 solar PV systems
  • Solar thermal system delivering up to 60% of the home’s annual domestic hot water
  • Air source heat pump
  • Smart metering
  • 2 control systems which operate building services including lighting, heating, ventilation as well as offering remote access to consumption data and a range of security and safety features
  • Rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling systems
  • LED lighting
  • Electric car charging point.

“The Sigma Home demonstrates an innovative, diverse and entrepreneurial way of forward thinking that is required in the housebuilding industry,” said Beeny. “It’s more than about selling a product; it’s about selling a sustainable solution encompassing the ever-changing range of new and exciting products that become available.”

The home has previously been occupancy tested by a family for two weeks each season over the course of a year to obtain a ‘real' perspective on living in a home constructed for sustainability.

“Technologies in the house will be implemented in both domestic and commercial projects in the future,” added Nick Smith, director of energy solutions for Rexel UK. “We will work with the Stewart Milne Group to share data from the research and analysis conducted onsite and use this to achieve further advancements in energy solutions.”

For further information contact Keri Jordan, BRE, tel 01923 664322, email

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