The Zero Bills Home was opened in 2016 by RIBA award-winning zero carbon design and development pioneers ZEDfactory.

It was the first show home for a 96-home zero bills development in Newport, Essex, for the Sir Arthur Ellis Family Trust.

Superinsulated cladding with heat recovery ventilation and triple glazing reduces heat demand to the point where a tiny heat pump can provide comfort and hot water.

Good daylight, water saving appliances and LED lighting reduces electric demand allowing surplus solar electricity to power an electric car.

Watch the overview video of the Zero Bills Home here.

Read more about the Zero Bills Home from ZEDFactory.

Innovation zone ZeroBills house
The ZeroBills home at BRE Science Park

Zero Bills Home

Overview of the Zero Bills Home


The home comes as a kit: a steel frame with timber wall panels, mostly manufactured in the UK for a lower carbon footprint. It minimises the use of urethane foams, high off-gassing materials and low lifecycle materials.

The home is designed to need no external supply of electricity or gas, thanks to its built-in solar roof, battery storage and zero fossil fuel energy systems. In fact, the home also pays back its embodied carbon by generating more electricity than it needs over a typical year.

This is particularly important in light of rising energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis, with energy bills expected to rise to an average of £3,000 later this year.

The system is affordable at £1350 per square metre and is quick and easy to build. This off-the-shelf solution could play a key role in delivering the Government’s target to deliver 300,000 new homes per year.

Key features of the Zero Bills Home

  • Super-insulated concrete foundation slab with optional additional piles to match most ground conditions
  • Laser cut galvanised steel powder-coated structural ring beam with C16 UK timber studs
  • UK-fabricated OSB structural boards enable one floor to be built every two days
  • Super-insulated cladding with heat recovery ventilation and triple glazing reduces heat demand; only a tiny heat pump is needed for comfort and hot water
  • BIPV solar roofing system provides durable roof with electric generation and optional solar loft conservatory
  • Clever use of natural light, water-saving appliances and LED lighting reduce electricity demand; surplus solar power can charge an electric car
  • A smart LIPO4 Fitcraft battery system under the stairs stores solar electricity, minimising grid imports and limiting grid export to 3kw maximum
  • Simple and adaptable plans for any plot orientation; detached, semi and terraced homes
  • Open structural system increases flexibility for self-build and site-specific variations


Read more

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We regularly run tours of our Innovation Zone at the BRE Science Park, which features a unique range of building techniques from leading developers and innovators, alongside the BRE flood resilient and dementia friendly homes.

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