"A challenge: affordable and low carbon homes"
It was really interesting to watch the debate in the House of Lords regarding not only the proposed development of three million affordable homes, but also around the effectiveness of Energy Performance Certificates being introduced into the market place. These things of course have to be balanced against our overwhelming requirement to act as stewards in protecting the natural environment not only for now, but for decades and centuries into the future. Quite a sobering thought as my youngest daughter almost certainly will be alive in 2100!
Where are all these houses going to be built, I wonder? They could be built on disused, or redeveloped land in towns and cities (brown field sites). For example, I have noticed around where I live that some large, detached houses have been demolished and replaced with an even denser number of dwellings. The other option is to build on green field sites – potentially, for example, green belt areas outside the main urban centres. What affect is this going to have on both the local infrastructure and the environment? The Government has also recently announced its commitment to delivering zero carbon housing by 2016. This seems an incredibly big ask unless we get some heavy weight building companies on side and soon. Any views on how you square this circle would be appreciated.
Also, what are your views of Energy Performance Certificates? Are they an unnecessary bureaucracy, or as I think an opportunity to further engage with people about the importance of taking energy saving measures in the home?
All in all, it is going to require the support of all the major players – consumer groups, housing and building industry, as well as local and National Government for zero carbon homes to become a reality.