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




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

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


  • 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


Good Homes 2020: Climate Emergency and Local Authority Action

The third event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.


  • 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


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:



Good Homes 2020: Technologies and Solutions for Net Zero Homes

The second event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.


  • Welcome from the chair – Mike Roberts, Vice-Chair, Good Homes Alliance
  • An update on the Active Building Centre – Simon McWhirter, Head of Engagement, Active Building Centre
  • Innovative net zero technologies: Product showcase
    • Sonnen – Gary Watson, Sales Manager (UK & Ireland), Sonnen
    • Kensa Contracting – Ieman Barmaki, Director of Low Carbon Partnerships, Kensa Contracting
    • Wondrwall – Daniel Burton, CEO, Wondrwall
    • Heritage Wind – Steve Charter, Director, Heritage Wind
    • Build Test Solutions – Dr Richard Jack, Product Manager, Build Test Solutions
  • Net zero housing case study: Parc Hadau development – James Williams, Managing Director, Sero Homes

Event date: Tuesday 20th October 2020


Good Homes 2020: Net Zero Housing Policy and Projects

The first event in the Good Homes 2020 Conference Series.


  • Launch of the conference series and net zero policy update – Lynne Sullivan OBE, Chair, Good Homes Alliance
  • Keynote address – Professor Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change Adaptation Committee
  • Welcome from our sponsor and update on the ‘Healthy Homes Barometer’ – Neil Freshwater, Public Affairs Manager GB & Ireland, VELUX
  • ‘Affordable, efficient and healthy homes for all’ – The ‘Home of 2030’ competition – Andy von Bradsky, Head of Architecture, MHCLG
  • Accelerating net zero: Pilots, client guides and more – Clare Murray, Head of Sustainability, Levitt Bernstein and LETI
  • ‘Homes of the future, now – Comfortable and affordable to heat’: An update on the ‘Building for 2050’ project – Alison Crompton, Regional Director, AECOM

Event date: Tuesday 6th October 2020


Building Standards Compared

The paper seeks to illustrate clearly how the choice of selecting a building standard affects the amount of renewable energy generation that is required to comply with a net zero operational outcome. The report does not take into account embodied energy/carbon. All energy and carbon modelling is illustrative but based upon real archetypes.

Author: Commissioned by the Good Homes Alliance and Woodknowledge Wales. Authored by John Palmer, Passivhaus Trust

Publication date: V1.2, October 2020 (V1 originally published in September 2020)



At a crossroads: Building foundations for healthy communities

A new report published by APSE, researched and written by the TCPA, is calling on the Government to put public health at the heart of housing delivery; empowering local decision-makers to create healthy and high-quality places. The report condemns a decade of deregulatory planning reform which has failed to acknowledge the crucial role local authorities play in designing healthy places and driving up the standard of new housing.

Author: APSE, TCPA

Publication date: August 2020

Further information:


Case Study

Housing Design Awards

The Housing Design Awards were first created to drive quality during the rebuild of post-war Britain. In 1947 Aneurin Bevan, Minister for Health with responsibility for housing, told Parliament that the Government would present annual awards for the design and layout of homes procured by the public sector. The initiative was part of the creation of the NHS, the aim being free health care and healthier homes (several common diseases of the period were associated with bad ventilation and damp).

Under the guidance of current chairman Gareth Capner and director David Birkbeck of Design for Homes, the Awards have increased their investment in explaining the details about winning and shortlisted schemes. Short films are made each year about Completed winners, interviewing development teams, planning authorities and residents. This is a perfect continuation of the Housing Design Awards’ original purpose, to explain what residents think about innovative design and whether it can be replicated.

To date there have been more than 1,000 winning schemes. The HDA archive of previous winners is the largest such resource in the world.


Further information:


Urban Design Group and the world of urbanism

The UrbanNous website contains a wide selection of video recordings from Urban Design Group events across the country. If you missed out on a lecture, or would like to see one again, take a look through UrbanNous’ video archive to find what you are looking for.

Find out more and download presentations at: