the snug home is a net zero carbon home built from timber to passivehaus standards in bristol

Tiny zero-carbon home is ‘one of a kind’

This innovative zero-carbon design made the Wood Awards 2021 shortlist

By Victoria Purcell | 27 October 2021

As we edge towards the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the government’s pledge to hit net-zero emissions targets by 2050 is in the spotlight.

Construction and home heating are both huge contributors to carbon emissions, making zero-carbon home design and greener heating solutions hot topics among architects and self-builders.

That’s why innovative projects like the SNUG Home — shortlisted in the Wood Awards 2021 Buildings category — are so important.

Zero carbon home design

The first of its kind, the SNUG Home challenges the idea of what a house is. The modular community build not only has a small physical footprint, the two-storey 44msq one-bedroom home also has a tiny carbon footprint. Installed in the back garden of an end-of-terrace house in Fishponds, Bristol, it’s a groundbreaking example of a net zero-carbon home.

What is a net-zero carbon home? It’s one that produces zero or even negative carbon emissions by maximising both energy efficiency and renewable energy. That’s both embodied energy (that used in the manufacture of the building materials) and operational energy (heating, cooling and power).

the exterior of the timber-framed SNUG Home a compact Passivhaus build

Photo: Tony Gilbert

The SNUG Home

SNUG, designed by Bristol-based social enterprise SNUG Homes, has such a small footprint that it can fit neatly into a back garden or leftover plot, which is hugely beneficial in terms of providing affordable new homes and addressing the housing shortage in urban areas.

SNUG offers an alternative to an apartment, providing flexibility and outdoor space — something many urban dwellers realised the importance of during the Covid-19 pandemic — within a recognisable house design.

The home, designed for one person, is built upon the principles of being low-impact, highly energy efficient (it achieves Passivhaus levels of performance) and great to live in.

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