By Paula Planelles Manzanaro
Low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies gain ground in the United Kingdom as new homes are expected to be zero carbon by 2016. According to a new report carried out by the School of Construction, Management and Engineering at Reading University in collaboration with the Zero Carbon Hub, house builders are increasingly incorporating these technologies. This new trend points to a new objective: supporting the building of sustainable homes and solving the lack of information among occupiers regarding LZC technologies, considered as the future in new housing.
A nationwide survey of industry experts with a thorough knowledge of low and zero carbon technologies shows that the installation of these technologies is considerably increasing in the country. The disclosure is the result of the Government’s plans to create a panorama where the LZC technologies will play an important role. Another report carried out between homeowners and users of LZC technologies, Today’s attitudes to low and zero carbon homes, published by the National House-Building Council Foundation (NHBC) points out in the same direction and emphasizes in how the new occupiers feel about these technologies.
Rick Raynsford, Member of Parliament (MP) for Greenwich and Woolwich and Chairman at NHBC, highlights the need to pledge a sustainable future in the country. “The Government has set a target for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016. This poses a challenge for the UK house-building industry to produce sustainable homes with enhanced environmental performance”, Mr. Raynsford stated.
The report by the School of Construction, Management and Engineering at Reading University also unveils that, although house builders are using a range of different renewable energies, most of them only rely on one or two technologies. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems are the most commonly used technologies and will play the most significant role leading up to and beyond 2016, according to the study.
Despite the increase of the installation of LZC systems, the knowledge about how to use them is not growing at the same rate. Homeowners lack information from the house builders about the benefits or the proper use of the LZC technologies installed in their homes, the report unveils. “It is essential that occupiers not only understand the technologies, but also how they should be used to deliver the expected performance and contribute to lower energy bills for the home”, Ted Chandler, from NHBC, commented. The aim is “to ensure that LZC technologies fitted into the new homes are used correctly and guarantee that they are not, as in the worst cases, turned off”, Mr. Chandler added.
The low and zero carbon technologies will become a solid option for the building of new homes.