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Transforming Britain’s housing to meet the 2050 Net Zero Target

As COP28 continues, we look at how a Future Homes Standard could help meet the UK's 2050 Net Zero Target.
Project 80

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Transforming Britain’s housing to meet the 2050 Net Zero Target

As COP28 continues, we look at how a Future Homes Standard could help meet the UK's 2050 Net Zero Target.
Project 80

In 2019, the government announced plans to develop a Future Homes Standard aimed to ensure that all new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes built under 2013 regulations. As a demonstrator, Birmingham City University (BCU), the Midland Heart Housing Association and Bromsgrove-based construction firm Tricas developed Eco-Drive 80, a groundbreaking sustainable development of 12 properties in Handsworth, Birmingham.

COP28 Blog Series

In 2019, the government announced plans to develop a Future Homes Standard aimed to ensure that all new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes built under 2013 regulations. As a demonstrator, Birmingham City University (BCU), the Midland Heart Housing Association and Bromsgrove-based construction firm Tricas developed Eco-Drive 80, a groundbreaking sustainable development of 12 properties in Handsworth, Birmingham.

The Eco-Drive project successfully delivered at least a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions

The project demonstrates that it is possible to create beautiful homes that meet the 2025 regulations, which are traditionally built and can contribute to substantial carbon reduction.

Visiting BCU Professor and CEO of Building Alliance Mike Leonard said;

“BCU was brought on board to capture a case study of the development, to undertake detailed monitoring, and to engage with the occupants to record their experiences and lessons. A team comprising Midland Heart, designers, contractors, subcontractors, materials suppliers, specialists and BCU was set up to deliver the project in a collaborative and learning approach.”

Work commenced on site in March 2021 and was completed in May 2022. The scheme of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, using standard house layouts were adapted from the original 2013 Building Regulations design to meet the notional 2025 Future Homes Standard.

Leonard added:

“CO2 emissions were achieved by increasing insulation in walls, enhancing the window specification, increasing the levels of airtightness, employing planned ventilation approaches, and using heat pumps and photovoltaic (PV) systems. The 12 homes were given three different variations of solution involving two types of space and water heat pump, and a water heating-only heat pump with electric radiators. All used traditional brick and block construction because it is the most common construction form in the UK. Four were built to a much higher low-energy specification, and all were given 2.2 kW of PV panels, beyond the standard, to help the occupants with rising energy costs.”

The project represents a highly effective partnership between housing providers, housebuilders, suppliers and residents, whilst generating a plethora of recommendations for policymakers and industry, both in UK and abroad. The full report can be read here.

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