05 Nov 2010 09:11:01
Low carbon housing projects 'performing below standard'
Improvements must be made within the building industry if the 2016 zero-carbon target is to be met, a new report has claimed.
The study, conducted by Leeds Metropolitan University on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that current low carbon housing projects are not up to standard.
Based on the Elm Tree Mews development in York, which was designed to meet targets set for 2013, the research found heat loss was more than 50 percent higher than intended in the design and renewable heating systems were not performing as they should.
This meant that carbon emissions from the properties were "only marginally in advance of current regulations".
The report went on to make recommendations that greater priority should be given to complementing low carbon lifestyles, designing to take into account whole system performance and conducting in performance testing.
Malcolm Bell, professor of surveying and sustainable housing at Leeds Metropolitan, said: "Although the Government has set ambitious targets for changes to building regulatory standards...there is considerable concern that the policy will be undermined because regulatory standards will not be achieved on the ground."
Plans are for all new built dwellings in the UK to be zero carbon by the year 2016.