Project launched to study carbon zero homes
Residents of green housing schemes in England will have their say on the use of renewable energy alternatives as part of a study into carbon zero homes.
The research project, run by Sheffield Hallam University, will quiz people about their experiences of renewable energies in three eco-housing developments in Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham and Croydon.
The aim of researchers is to provide a picture of Britain’s progress on the path towards renewable energy while giving tenants the opportunity to express their feelings on the projects.
Researchers from the university’s Department of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research and Centre for Infrastructure Management will also speak with landlords and housing associations.
The team will produce a short video about how occupants use heating and other features of low carbon and low energy housing.
Aimee Walshaw, a researcher from CRESR, said: ‘The starting point for the project is a concern that the debate about innovative low carbon and low energy housing has been over dominated by technology, architects and various national pressure groups.
‘We want to give tenants and other occupants a voice and avoid the technical jargon and specialised language often found in innovative housing design.’
The government has an ambitious target for all new build homes to be carbon zero - defined as achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing amounts of carbon released against an equivalent amount offset - by 2016. The target was extended to include non-domestic builds by 2019.
The term ‘carbon zero’ was clarified in the March 2011 budget to exclude emissions generated by cooking and plug-in appliances.
Previous research by Sheffield Hallam University in 2011 suggested that zero carbon homes were ‘too expensive’ to build at a time of low land and house prices, as developers could not pass on the extra cost to buyers.