New construction methods needed for government regulations
Project 80 is a collaborative programme between housing association Midland Heart, Tricas Construction Ltd, Birmingham City University (BCU), key product manufacturers, industry bodies and contractors.
It has been inspired by the Future Homes Standard, a Government-led legally binding requirement. It will introduce tougher, low-carbon regulation for new homes built from 2025 that include:
- More stringent building fabric requirements
- Utilising a low carbon form of heating and hot water
- An emission of 75 – 80 percent less carbon than homes built under current regulations
The introduction of the Future Homes Standard threatens to cause numerous challenges.
Those in the housing industry will have to adapt to new design and construction methods, while residents within the properties will have to familiarise themselves with new technologies.
Project 80 aimed to not only respond to these standards but to meet them ahead of time.
Beginning in 2021, the project involves the construction of 12 homes in Birmingham. BCU academics are providing detailed monitoring, occupant interviews and a case study analysis of design, construction and operation of the homes.
Sustainable housing developments and key support
The BCU academics contributing to Project 80 form part of BCU’s Centre for Future Homes, which looks to help organisations explore sustainable housing developments and respond to current housing issues.
If you are a developer, housing provider or work within the construction industry, the Centre can provide you with an independent service that can help enable better decisions, suitable improvements and more.
Working with the Centre for Future Homes could provide a myriad of benefits, such as:
- Improved construction methods and cost-effective, sustainable solutions
- Engaging with end users to understand behaviours and wellbeing
- The use of the latest equipment, including infrared cameras, u value sensors, electricity circuit sub-metering, indoor environmental quality sensors, thermal comfort sensors, water metering and ventilation anemometers
A range of measures to help organisations
Project 80 considers a number of aspects, including:
- Project design and implementation
- Costing, economics and carbon accounting
- Building performance and modelling
- User satisfaction and learning analysis
- Evaluation of industry implications
As a result, the Centre for Future Homes are currently developing cost benefit analysis of the proposed changes for developers and occupiers, significant impact of different building standards, and design tools, models and recording of key stages of construction to support with delivery.
A much-needed project to help the industry
The Project 80 programme has received praise from leading political figures, with Andy Street – Mayor of the West Midlands – praising the project at the recent Conservative party conference.
With the construction sector accounting for nearly 40 percent of global energy and process-related emissions, there is a significant need for sustainable housing development that can make a difference.
Not only is the Future Homes Standard being introduced, but new research also reveals that 74 percent of potential buyers are attracted to the greater energy efficiency that new-build properties afford.
“It is critical that the industry faces the challenges head-on and plays its role in advancing a net-zero transition,” says a recent article in the Property Reporter.
“Harnessing the value of technology to adopt environmental building practices, opting for greener materials and addressing the green skills gap will go a long way towards ensuring continuous progress in the industry.”
With the emphasis being placed on those working in housing and construction to lower their emissions and create more sustainable processes, liaising with the Centre for Future Homes can help you meet regulations, save money and implement new sustainable methods.
Want support introducing more sustainable, cost-efficient construction methods? Get in touch and see how the Centre for Future Homes can support.