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Report Research findings

Welsh Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub

The findings of a report that explored the potential of establishing a Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub for Wales have been published.

This report is the conclusion of a three-month scoping study which brought together the Good Homes Alliance (GHA), Woodknowledge Wales and the Building Performance Network (BPN) to prepare a proposal for what the Hub’s core purpose could be, how it could add value to the housing sector in Wales, and how it could further the Welsh Government’s objectives.

The report includes a foreword from Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change for the Welsh Government:

 “This Zero Carbon Housing Performance Hub scoping study shows that there is strong support from the housing sector for a government endorsed body where industry, academia and NGOs can collaborate to share research, debate the issues and help shape future policy. The Hub could therefore become a resource for all similar initiatives to ensure a cohesive and coherent direction.

The Hub will also play its part in enabling a zero-carbon economic recovery that is purposefully aligned with the supply chain in Wales. Importantly for Wales, the Hub will enable the social housing sector to go zero early, bringing the benefits of low energy bills and healthy home environments to those that need them most. In short, the Hub will help facilitate and accelerate zero carbon high performance solutions that can be rolled-out at scale across all the housing sectors in Wales. We were delighted to be able to fund this scoping study and will give consideration to how we can support its implementation.”


Authors: Good Homes Alliance, Woodknowledge Wales and Building Performance Network.

Report prepared for ClwydAlyn with funding from the Welsh Government Collaborative Research and Innovation Support Programme (CRISP).

Study completed in March 2021 and conducted by Nicola O’Connor (Mandarin Research) and Ross Holleron (Building Performance Network) for the Good Homes Alliance in collaboration with Woodknowledge Wales and the Sustainable Development Foundation.

Publication date: August 2021


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Tool

How to achieve net zero carbon homes

Funded through the Local Government Association (LGA) Housing Advisers Programme, the guide has been produced by leading technical experts from Etude, the Passivhaus Trust, Levitt Bernstein and Elementa Consulting.

Who is the Toolkit for?

Pulling on latest guidance and best practice, the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit is a practical, easy to follow guide to help plan a net zero housing project.

Aimed at small or medium-sized house builders, architects, self-builders and consultants, the toolkit covers a range of steps – from pre-planning right through to construction – for delivering net-zero carbon, low-energy homes.

The toolkit also provides homeowners looking to retrofit or extend their existing property, guidance and advice on what they need to consider and how they can implement energy efficiency measures and begin the process of decarbonising their homes in a more affordable, phased approach.

Implementing the measures laid out in the new toolkit will help reduce the carbon footprint of new and existing buildings. Making significant reductions to a home’s carbon emissions also means lower energy bills for homeowners, more people out of fuel poverty and homes that are comfortable and healthier to live in.

How can others use the Toolkit?

West Oxfordshire District Council and its two partner councils share an ambition that net zero should be the standard for all new housing and retrofit projects in their districts.

Achieving the UK’s legally binding net zero target is no small task and it is acknowledged that reaching this goal requires organisations to work together, share experiences and build on best practice.

To help others reach net zero and to speed up the UK’s collective response to the climate emergency, the Net Zero Carbon Toolkit is openly available as a resource for private and public sector organisations to use and adopt. Further information about how the toolkit may be used is listed on page 2 of the document. 


Authors: Etude, Passivhaus TrustLevitt Bernstein and Elementa Consulting.

Publication date: July 2021

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Guidance

Unlock Net Zero

Unlock Net Zero is a knowledge hub focusing on the practical reality of the transition to a net zero future. Net Zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. To achieve this requires large-scale and extensive innovation across the UK energy system. This will involve disruptive change across all sectors and industries.

Unlock Net Zero seeks to inform, educate, and connect people and organisations involved in adopting a net zero approach, identifying the technologies, infrastructure and behaviour change required.

For news, case studies, resources, events and more, visit https://www.unlocknetzero.co.uk.

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Guidance

Model Employer’s Requirements and Design Brief Clauses

The clauses are free-to-download and set minimum requirements for performance standards for energy (net zero), emissions, health, comfort and building performance evaluation.

Developed in collaboration with:

With input from our local authority (Vanguard) and housing association (Pathfinder) network members via a workshop.

The work has been kindly funded by the MCS Charitable Foundation.

About the clauses

The new clauses can be adopted by clients (i.e. local authorities, RSLs) and included in Employer’s Requirements and Design Guides. The clauses principally intend to:

  • Drive up standards by placing new build housing developments on a trajectory to net zero carbon and avoiding the need for retrofit work to be undertaken in future;
  • Improve and enhance the comfort, health, well-being and satisfaction of occupants while additionally maintaining provision of affordable warmth; and
  • Ensure that homes are built to perform in accordance with the design stage intentions (or better) by closing the ‘performance gap’.

The clauses provide minimum requirements set out as a performance specification which can be used in connection with both self-promoted and Section.106 developments, they should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Additionally, the clauses seek to clarify the responsibilities of designers and developers in satisfying the requirements.

The ERs are built around standards set by LETI in their Climate Emergency Design Guide, the Future Homes Standard and Woodknowledge Wales BPE Guidance.


Authors: For the Good Homes Alliance, authored by Paul Ciniglio, BM3e Principal, Boulter Mossman with input from Jim Allman, Director, Boulter Mossman and Prof. Tim Sharpe, independent consultant.

Publication date: June 2021, v3

Downloads

Main document:

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Appendices:

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Launch event video

On June 1st 2021 we hosted the Model Employer’s Requirements and Design Brief Clauses launch event. You can watch the video of the event below. 

Speakers included:

  • Julian Brooks, Programmes Director, Good Homes Alliance
  • Adrian Ramsey, CEO, MCS Charitable Foundation
  • Paul Ciniglio, BM3e Principal, Boulter Mossman
  • Prof. Tim Sharpe, independent consultant
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Video

BPE Tutorial: Fionn Stevenson

A tutorial with BPE expert Fionn Stevenson.

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Guidance

Building Performance Evaluation Guide

This guidance is aimed at housing clients, and anyone interested in Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) who wants to evaluate and improve the performance of homes.

Its purpose is to provide an introduction to applying BPE in practice on projects, with:

  • Information for clients and project managers to gain an overview of the benefits of BPE, what the main BPE techniques can do, how to procure it, and the main activities to plan throughout a project from design to occupancy
  • Guidance on the main BPE techniques available
  • Tools for day-to-day use on projects, complemented by more detailed guidance, examples and references.

This guidance recommends a “core” BPE scope for clients and project teams wanting to understand and improve the performance of their homes. This provides a holistic look at performance, including people, the indoor environment, fabric performance, energy use and water use. It highlights how BPE techniques can work together, and the interactions between energy performance, people, and the indoor environment. It limits the involvement of experts and expensive equipment. Instead, the aim is to embed building performance throughout the project stages and empower project teams to deliver high performance.


Authors: This guidance has been produced for Woodknowledge Wales on behalf of the Home-Grown Homes project. The document was authored by Susie Diamond, Inkling & Julie Godefroy Sustainability, for the Good Homes Alliance.

Publication date: January 2021

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Guidance

Embodied Carbon Guidance for social housing developers, their design teams, contractors and suppliers

The target audience encompasses key stakeholders within Welsh social housing organisations including development and asset managers, their design teams, contractors and suppliers, but it also relevant to stakeholders throughout the UK.

Clear and authoritative guidance is provided on how to procure and undertake an Embodied Carbon assessment, what benchmarks can be set, tools that can be used and how Embodied Carbon can be reduced. Examples are provided to show how others have tackled Embodied Carbon within their organisations and projects, with a focus on housing. Where relevant, other guidance and useful information is signposted.


Authors: This guidance has been produced for Woodknowledge Wales on behalf of the Home-Grown Homes project. The document was authored by Jane Anderson of ConstructionLCA Ltd together with Katherine Adams, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products.

Publication date: December 2020

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Video

Good Homes 2020: Covid-19, Health & Well-being and the Green Recovery

The fourth and final event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.

Programme:

  • Welcome from the chair and scene setting – Lynne Sullivan OBE, Chair, Good Homes Alliance
  • The Healthy Homes Act – Dr Daniel Slade, Policy & Project Manager, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Accelerating the transition to a green economy – Emma Harvey, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute
  • Home Comforts during the Covid-19 Lockdown – Prof. Matthew Carmona, Planning and Urban Design, University College London
  • The Building for Life principles – David Birkbeck, Chief Executive, Design for Homes
  • Active House principles and findings of the ‘Model Home 2020’ CarbonLight Home project – Paul Hicks, Director, Studio 62 Design Ltd

Event date: Tuesday 17th November 2020

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Video

Good Homes 2020: Climate Emergency and Local Authority Action

The third event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.

Programme:

  • Welcome from the chair and update on the Vanguard Network – Julian Brooks, Programmes Director, Good Homes Alliance
  • ‘One million SuperHomes by 2030’ – An update from our Vanguard Network partner – Sandra Hayes, Head of Households and Communities, National Energy Foundation
  • Vanguard Network case studies
    • Reflecting on 10+ years of Passivhaus in Exeter – Emma Osmundsen, Managing Director, Exeter City Living
    • Planning for net zero in Cambridgeshire – Emma Davies, Principal Sustainability Consultant, Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service
    • One of the UK’s largest regeneration projects: Meridian Water, Enfield – Rafe Bertram, Sustainability Lead (Meridian Water), Enfield Council
    • Sustainable housing at Harlow and Gilston Garden Town – Tara Gbolade, Sustainability Lead, Harlow & Gilston Garden Town

Event date: Tuesday 3rd November 2020

Categories
Report

Home Comforts during the Covid-19 Lockdown

The report summarises findings of a national survey of 2,500 households (representing 7,200 people) aimed at understanding how well or how poorly the design of our homes and their immediate neighbourhoods supported us during the period of coronavirus lockdown.

The intention was to understand what can be learned from this period of unprecedented stress on our home environments. The findings offer insights into how we should be designing or adapting them in the future in order that they are more resilient and better able to support happy and healthy lifestyles.

Findings are grouped according to the following themes:

1. About you during lockdown

2. Your home during lockdown

3. Your neighbourhood during lockdown

4. Your community during lockdown


Author: Place Alliance (Matthew Carmona, Valentina Giordano, Garima Nayyar, Jessica Kurland, Clare Buddle)

Publication date: October 2020

Further information: placealliance.org.uk

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