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Climate change caused by carbon emissions is now accepted as the greatest threat faced by mankind.
Will you help deliver global solutions to low and zero carbon housing?
In many industrialised countries, more than 40% of carbon emissions are the result of energy consumption by buildings; the UK housing sector is responsible for 27% of the nation’s carbon emissions. We need sustainable solutions to accommodating an ever-increasing population.
The UK is committed to cutting carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. The Government has set stringent targets for the housing sector; by 2016, all new housing should be zero carbon.
There should also be a programme of retrofitting the 26 million existing properties in the UK. The challenge is significant in terms of researching and developing solutions, educating associated professions and engaging with home-owners so they can make informed decisions.
The University is at the forefront of the UK’s low carbon housing research and education. Our Department of Architecture and Built Environment has created a unique housing development on our University Park campus. The multi-award winning Creative Energy Homes (CEH) are a showcase of innovative, energy-efficient homes of the future, receiving more than 3,000 visitors a year.
The seven homes have been designed and constructed to various degrees of innovation and flexibility to allow the testing of different aspects of modern methods of construction (MMC). World-leading research is investigating the link between occupant behaviour and energy consumption as well as developing the next generation of smart-grid energy technologies to predict and intelligently respond to the behaviour and actions of energy users.
We want Creative Energy Homes to continue to grow as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for sustainable housing and energy demand reduction. We need to educate the next generation of engineers and architects in low/zero carbon housing design and want to continue our world-class research in the development of sustainable, affordable housing solutions and technology.
Our government and industry engagement and public outreach activities are important in informing national and international policies and promoting public awareness.
Sustainable solutions to reducing energy use within the housing sector will benefit society by reducing the number of people living in fuel poverty and suffering associated ill health.
The solutions have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions, mitigate global warming and protect our environment from climate change.
Promoting energy sustainability has enormous potential benefit for society and economies within the UK and globally. By building homes for the future today, we can educate future generations to develop and live in more sustainable homes.
What will your Impact be?
Your support for Creative Energy Homes will have a genuine impact on helping the UK to cut carbon emissions in the housing sector.
This research is very, very important and it’s impressive to see how much work is going on here. The ambition must be to produce houses that are zero carbon on a commercial basis – credit to the University because these first steps must be taken if we are to do that.
It’s good that we have a British university doing this – especially one that has a long-standing relationship with China, where the commercial possibilities are virtually endless.
Alistair Darling, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, who toured the Creative Energy Homes in 2009