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By Dave Worsley, Director

In February 2019 the Committee on Climate Change recommended new homes should be built to be low-carbon, energy and water efficient, and climate resilient. The technology is here now. Let’s get on with it.

Well insulated houses, properly built to comply with or exceed today’s building regulations, provide comfortable and cosy homes.

By continuing to burn gas in new buildings, we will only lock in problems for our children and future generations. Whether that be rising costs of imported gas, environmental impacts of climate change, or the need for costly refurbishment down the line.

The technological challenge

The ‘new’ technology is already available.

We have buildings which prove alternative technology is efficient.

But for people to want these new technologies in their homes, we need to show them the benefits and suitability of these alternatives. We need to show people homes without gas boilers work, that they provide comfortable, warm homes.

How can we expect consumers to consider the alternative an “attractive option” if they have very little knowledge or experience of it?

Only when people can see the benefits to living without a gas boiler, can we expect them to consider a home with alternative technology suitably attractive.

Active Buildings low/zero carbon

At the Active Building Centre, we are gathering evidence to prove the case for Active Buildings.

We develop Active Buildings which use low/zero carbon technologies rather than burning fossil fuels. These buildings are providing benefits for UK construction and energy industries, as well as building occupants and electric vehicle users.

We have a number of demonstration buildings, including the UK’s first energy positive office and a development of 16 homes using solar, energy storage, high levels of steel and, crucially burn no-gas.

A collaborative challenge

The Active Building Centre is an independent centre funded through the Government’s Industrial Strategy. Alongside the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH), we are bringing together the best of UK technology, architecture, engineering and occupant focused design to meet environmental and economic challenges head on.

Initially focused on new buildings this approach can later be rolled out to meet the bigger challenges of what has already been constructed, including 29 million existing homes.

“With the £170m we are investing in Transforming Construction we will be able to roll out buildings vastly better for the environment – and more economic – than any produced today. I welcome this report which will help push forward benefits to home-owners and society at large”.

Sam Stacey, Challenge Director, Transforming Construction.

Work with the Active Building Centre

We are interested in connecting with like-minded partners who want to push the envelope in terms of building performance. To support the wider energy infrastructure and transport in a meaningfully sustainable way. Significantly reducing carbon emissions. Using buildings to support the wider energy infrastructure.

If you have a potential Active Building project, please contact us.

Published July 2019