In 2006, the Government announced plans to make all new homes carbon neutral by 2016. According to BBC News, housing accounts for approximately 27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and the scheme will significantly increase the chance of making the 60% CO2 reduction target by 2050.
When the plans were originally announced many developers were sceptical about the likelihood of success; however, as the years have gone by, more and more people have become aware of the dangers of global warming and are actively looking for ways to help the environment. Since 2006, the industry has completely changed and technologies that were once out-of-reach are now readily available.
These three carbon neutral homes prove just how easy it is to start making changes.
RuralZED Flat Packed Housing
British developers, ZEDfactory are market leaders in zero-carbon developments. The company has recently released details for their new project, which is essentially a build-your-own flat packed house kit. The first development, named the RuralZED, has been displayed in London’s Earl’s Court. The house takes approximately 3 weeks to build and will be commercially available by 2016. The house itself can go an entire year without having to draw any energy from the national grid. It also gains heat from renewable sources and provides green solutions for water generation and waste. Built out of a timber-frame kit, the house sits on a low-carbon concrete foundation and is built using recycled materials.
John Christophers’ Victorian Home
When it comes to green architecture, most people envision futuristic-looking structures, positioned to the south and integrated seamlessly with Mother Nature. However, architect John Christophers has moved in the opposite direction and has managed to turn a traditional Victorian home completely carbon neutral. Even though over 80% of today’s properties will still be in use by 2050, Christophers has proven that there’s still plenty society can do to contribute. The house is equipped with 35 square metre solar panels and a 30 degree angled roof, which provides 90% of the homes energy. Other features include a tank which collects rainwater for the toilet system, washing machine and kitchen tap; four skylights, and low voltage LED lighting. The family regularly open the house to the public in order to promote carbon neutral living.
Caplin Homes’ Solar House
The UK’s first solar home was built by Caplin Homes to showcase the different renewable technologies. They designed the property around existing concepts to demonstrate how simple ideas can make a difference. The house stores heating in the ground throughout the summer, which is then retrieved and used to heat the house in the winter. It also provides all of the hot water and electricity needed to run it, and even generates revenue by selling it back to the energy grid.
To meet the current legislation that all new homes must been carbon neutral by 2016, architects are developing new technologies to make building cheaper and easier. As carbon neutral properties become more and more accessible, both new and existing homeowners are already striving to get their foot in the door.
The research and information for this article was collected by Louise on behalf and working alongside Robert Irving Burns.