Smart, low-carbon homes were once the preserve of one-off grand designs – now there are up to 30,000 projects in the pipeline. A few years ago these houses would have been experimental one-offs. But a green-design campaign group has calculated there are as many as 30,000 low-carbon homes in the pipeline, an impressive turnaround in which the industry is leading the way, ahead of government regulation. Shifting the mindset of such a risk-averse industry can seem like an insurmountable challenge, not helped by the government dragging its heels on policy changes. But now, after scrapping Labour’s zero-carbon homes target in 2015, the Conservative government has finally developed a future homes standard, which will mandate all new homes to be “zero-carbon-ready” – although not until 2025 at the earliest. So it has been the landlords with a long-term interest in the wellbeing of their tenants, and the longevity of their building stock, who are forging ahead with low-energy housing. Exeter city council, for example, has been quietly building zero-carbon homes for the last decade, with more than 200 council houses built so far to the exacting Passivhaus low-energy standard, and 1,000 more in the pipeline.
Guardian 6th March 2021 read more »