Scaling up examples of low carbon and zero carbon homes
- Consistent ‘scale up’ and dissemination of learning prior to regulations being introduced is an important element of safely and efficiently delivering the zero carbon homes policy.
- There is a need to follow the Research, Development, Demonstration, Deployment cycle, but the group were very concerned about the lack of demonstrators which has resulted from a number of issues including funding being withdrawn from HCA to support advanced standards, uncertainty over the zero carbon definition, and the fact that the rate of build has been much slower than anticipated when the zero carbon policy was first announced. It was noted that a continuous improvement model with a knowledge sharing loop for the whole of industry is important to support ‘scale-up’.
- There is therefore significant concern that the numbers of dwellings required to meet the ‘scale up’ requirements will not be met. This significantly reduces the predictability and planned nature of scale up and the opportunity to disseminate learning. However, projects such as AimC4, undertaken by industry, are expected to provide some learning.
- The Code for Sustainable Homes has been of use in providing examples to advanced standards but the Housing Standards Review is likely to curtail this small body of evidence fairly quickly.
- To improve the RAG status, a driver needs to be put in place to allow for learning to be gathered and fed back to industry as a whole.