Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page, where we have compiled a list of common questions and answers related to our products, services, and policies.

We understand that you may have some queries or concerns that need to be addressed before availing of our services. Hence, we have created this page to provide you with all the relevant information you need to make an informed decision. If you cannot find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to contact us, and our friendly customer support team will be happy to assist you. So, let’s dive in and see if we can answer your questions!

Yes, Sustainabuild have an expert in-house designer who can assist you with planning and construction drawings and designs. Our designer has over 20 years of experience in the industry and can work with you on a brief to develop 2d & 3d designs that meet your needs and budget. They will listen to your requirements, provide suggestions, and create detailed drawings that ensure your project is completed on time and to your specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our design and planning services.

Sustainabuild can help you make your building project and home more sustainable. If you need a Builder in Sussex or Surrey, we can work with you to create a home that is both beautiful and eco-friendly. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Use sustainable building materials – Sustainabuild can recommend building materials that are environmentally friendly and have a low impact on the planet. This includes materials like reclaimed wood, bamboo, woodfibre insulation and lime products.

Insulate your home properly – We can help you insulate your home properly, which will reduce your energy consumption and save you money on your energy bills. It also makes your home more comfortable and reduces noise pollution.

Use energy-efficient lighting – Sustainabuild can help you switch to LED or other energy-efficient lighting options to reduce your energy consumption and save money on your electricity bill.

Install a solar panel system – Our team can help you install a solar panel system that generates clean, renewable energy for your home. This can help you save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Choose energy-efficient appliances – We can recommend models of appliances that have an Energy Star rating. These appliances are designed to use less energy and can save you money on your electricity bill.

Install water-saving features – We can install low-flow taps and showerheads to reduce your water consumption. Consider installing a rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater for irrigation and other non-potable uses.

Work with a sustainable construction company – Sustainabuild specializes in sustainable construction. We can help you design and build a home that is both beautiful and eco-friendly.

These are just a few tips to get you started on making your building project and home more sustainable in Sussex and Surrey. With Sustainabuild, you can create a home that is both comfortable and kind to the planet.

Ideally, you should get in touch as early as possible in the pre-planning phase. This will give us time to work with you and your architect or with our own designer to develop a comprehensive plan for your project that meets your needs and budget.

If you have already been granted planning permission, it’s definitely not too late to get in touch however it’s worth noting that we generally need between 2 and 4 months’ notice before we can start a new project. This is to ensure that we have enough time to plan and prepare for the project and to coordinate with our build partners and suppliers.

If you’re unsure about when to get in touch, or if you have any other questions about our services, feel free to contact us. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you get started on your construction project.

Building Regulations Part L covers the conservation of power and fuel in the construction of new homes in England, and establishes how energy-efficient new and existing homes should be.

From 15 June 2022 an important update to the Building Regulations will take place which includes an uplift to Part L. All new homes must produce at least 31% less carbon emissions than what is currently acceptable previously under Part L regulations. 

The changes could affect anyone undertaking a home improvement project, extension, renovation or self build, so here’s what you need to know about Part L, the new regulations, and how the changes will apply to your project.

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Ground source heat pumps may seem complex, but they are quite simple bits of kit. They use a series of buried pipes that extract the energy from the sun that warmed the ground. The heat pump then amplifies that energy into heat useful in the home.

There are two main elements to a ground source heat pump system:

The ground array, which can be either a horizontal grid of pipes, which should be 1.2m below ground level, or two or three vertical boreholes, which are likely to be more than 70m deep. In either case the extent of the ground array will be determined by the size of the heat pump and the soil conditions.

The heat pump itself, which is installed in the house. Some units include a hot water cylinder and can be the size of a large filing cabinet. The smallest pumps can be fitted in a kitchen cupboard, however, they’re often located in dedicated plant rooms for easy access. Heat pumps are also generally installed close to an external wall to give easy access to the ground array pipes.

Ground source heat pumps require electricity to work. However, they use electrical energy in a highly-efficient way to produce heat, significantly reducing heating running costs and CO2 emissions.

While ground source heat pumps require electricity to operate, they can also be combined with renewable electricity sources such as solar PV panels, making them an even greener option.

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An air source heat pump is a low-carbon heating source. It uses a refrigeration cycle to move heat from the air outside and transfers it as useable heat in your home.

Air source heat pumps, like boilers, are a heat source, but they deliver lower temperatures than a boiler. As such, they ideally need to be carefully designed into well-insulated, airtight homes to ensure optimum efficiency.

There are two main types of an air source heat pump:

Air to water heat pumps are used in wet central heating systems to heat radiators, underfloor heating and sometimes to generate hot water.

Air to air heat pumps are perhaps better known as air conditioning, and heat the air directly. This will include some level of air movement and noise as you’d expect from an air conditioning unit.

This article will focus on air to water heat pumps.

If you’re wondering how heat pumps work, then it’s first important to note that air source heat pumps work in a very different way to boilers. An air source heat pump does not create heat — it simply moves it from one place to another through the vapour compression cycle (or refrigeration process) to make it more useable.

Heat from the air gets absorbed into a fluid, which causes it to ‘boil’ and become a gas. The gas is then compressed, raising its temperature. The higher temperature is then transferred into the heating system (i.e. the radiators or underfloor heating).

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Home ventilation is necessary for a healthy living environment and a mechanical ventilation system may be the answer. MVHR is a centralised, whole-house system which delivers fresh air throughout the home, but also recovers heat from the home to warm incoming air. It is designed to run continuously all year round.

Different rooms in your house create different levels of heat. Your ‘wet’ and hotter rooms are the bathrooms and kitchen, which generate additional heat through activities such as cooking and showers; the activities that would usually encourage you to open a window or to run an extractor fan.

With a MVHR system, this warm, stale air is passed through a heat exchanger in the air handling unit (usually positioned in an insulated loft, utility or within a dedicated plant room), and the heat extracted is then used to warm the incoming fresh air. (Fresh air is drawn in from outside and first filtered.)

The pre-warmed, filtered fresh air is then delivered (moisture and cooking smell-free) into regular living areas through a ducting system with outlets in the ceilings of rooms.

Whole house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery consists of two independent ducted airflows, each with its own fan. The extract fan extracts the stale humid air from the wet rooms (bathrooms, kitchen etc.) and passes across a heat exchange matrix – where it recovers around 80%of the heat from the stale air – before discharging it to the outside. The second fan draws fresh air from outside, filters it to get rid of pollution and airborne allergens, then passes it over the heat exchange matrix in order to supply pre-warmed fresh air to all the living areas and bedrooms.

The ducting will tend to be 100mm to 150mm in diameter, depending on the size of the house. The warmed incoming air also needs to be insulated, to make sure the heat gets to the right place, which could increase the diameter to 250mm. Clearly ducting can’t be put just anywhere and needs to be properly designed in.

“Any ducting that passes through ‘cold’ spaces (like a cold roof loft) will need to be insulated to optimise the efficiency of the system,” adds David Hilton.

Sellers of such systems – the good ones, at least – will tell us that we need an ‘airtight’ house for the system to be effective. But ‘airtightness’ is not an absolute. It is measured on a sliding scale and there are points on that scale where a MVHR system will work and points where it will be less effective.

An effective ventilation system will be part of an overall design and it can be argued that it is an essential box to be ticked in the design of an energy-efficient house.

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If you're looking for a builder in West Sussex, look no further than Sustainabuild.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you bring your vision to life..