Pioneering research into affordable zero carbon homes

30 Jan 2009 14:21:00.000

PA 22/09

January 30 2009

The University of Nottingham has started work on two concept homes, in partnership with Tarmac Limited, designed to provide house builders and registered social landlords with a blueprint for low cost, zero carbon homes that can be built in large numbers across the country.

The two semi-detached properties are being built as part of the next phase of The University of Nottingham"€™s pioneering research into innovative energy efficient homes for the future. The latest buildings will be the first in the UK to demonstrate that it is possible to build zero carbon homes using traditional masonry building techniques as part of large scale development.

Dr Mark Gillott, who is leading the Creative Energy Homes Project at the School of Built Environment, said: "The research we are undertaking here at the University of Nottingham is essential due to the massive step changes in design and construction practice required to meet the UK's Code for Sustainable Homes targets "€” the post occupancy evaluation of these homes is important in allowing us to understand how they work in reality and not just on paper."

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Phil Sabin, Tarmac's Business Development Manager adds: "Up until now, zero-carbon homes in the UK have been one-off showpieces which nobody lives in, or they are highly costly "˜Grand Designs' which only a small minority of people can afford.

"€œWe are breaking new ground by building two properties which are affordable, zero- carbon and could potentially be built as part of large-scale development. With Government targets for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016, together with its plans for three million new homes to be built by 2020, it is vital that we use this research project in Nottingham to show the construction industry how this can be achieved."€

Researchers, in collaboration with Tarmac and its partners Lovell, the leading affordable house builder, and Bill Dunster Architects are hoping to understand how meeting the highest levels of zero-carbon housing translates into practical reality.

The project will also tackle some of the industry myths that still surround the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH). This includes misconceptions relating to the Green Code product specification and the optimum mix of renewables required for Code Level 6 properties.

The Tarmac home is the latest home to be built on Green Close on University Park near the School of Built Environment. It expected to be completed by July 2009. It will provide accommodations for visiting academics while researchers will analyse the energy usage and thermal efficiency as well as how occupants potentially have to adapt to living in a Code Level 6 and 4 properties.

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A total of six homes are planned for Green Close. Last year saw the completion of the BASF house which showcases all the latest technology for energy efficient living. E-ON has also collaborated with the University to build a 1930s style house to assess cost effective measures for reducing carbon emissions from ageing domestic properties.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as "€˜world-leading"€™ or "€˜internationally excellent"€™. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation "€” School of Pharmacy), and was named "€˜Entrepreneurial University of the Year"€™ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Additional information: More information about the house can be found at

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Mark Gillott on +44 (0)115 8567677, or Matt Sutton or Zara Withers at Camargue PR on +44 (0) 121 6165920

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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