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Reducing carbon emissions through energy-efficient technologies

To help meet the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) ambitious targets for reduction in carbon emissions, we integrated new energy-efficient technologies into living test sites. This showcases these developments to construction and energy companies, and informs the government’s Green Deal Strategy.

The issue

As a part of the Climate Change Act 2008, UK carbon emission targets seek an 80% reduction by 2050 compared to 1990.  New technologies, construction methods and strategies are needed to reduce carbon emissions, but the development of these requires extensive testing on living homes.

The research

Through sponsorship by a number of companies, six creative-energy homes were constructed to varying specifications and design strategies. Led by Professor Mark Gillott and Professor Saffa Riffat, a number of technologies were also tested, and data on occupant living habits was captured. These all informed future housing design.

The impact              

Working with construction and energy companies has led to a direct impact on the way new homes are constructed in the UK. Construction companies have been able to develop the techniques, skills and expertise necessary to meet the latest industry challenges.

Lovell Homes established itself as a low energy developer/contractor following its involvement in the project. The company has built a significant number of low-energy homes. “It was a fantastic research and learning experience that has enabled Lovell to gain a competitive edge in how to deliver these types of houses en masse.”

The government’s Green Deal scheme is designed to encourage business and home owners to employ more green technologies in their properties. Prior to its launch there was a lengthy consultation period, including calls for evidence on the applicability of retrofit technologies. Mark's research findings on in-situ testing of retrofit technologies used in the E.ON research house was included in a memorandum to the House of Commons that fed into the government’s consultation of the Energy Bill submitted by the Consumer-Appealing Low-Energy technologies for Building Retrofitting (CALEBRE) research team in June 2011.

Global Research Theme
Sustainable Societies

Read Mark's full profile

Read Saffa's full profile

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