Energy-efficient new housing - The UK reaches for sustainability

P. F G Banfill, Andrew Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


A critique is presented of recent proposals by the UK government to require new housing to become progressively more energy efficient, leading to net zero-carbon dioxide emissions from 2016. It is implied that these zero-carbon homes will involve a range of on-site power generation, and the technological changes needed to achieve this are discussed. Achieving zero-carbon space and water heating presents a distinct set of infrastructural challenges to the industry. However, proven and demonstrated technologies exist that, if deployed correctly, could achieve this goal. In contrast, the provision of zero net carbon electrical power to homes presents technological demands. It will require substantial advancement of current technological concepts, coupled to infrastructural change in the UK electricity supply industry, to be successful. Careful consideration should be given to the scale of the electricity-generating technologies proposed to ensure that the lowest cost and risk pathways are identified. It is not clear in the legislation proposed that these pathways will be sought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-436
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • House building
  • Renewable energy
  • Zero-carbon homes


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