Greenwich Green Time: How our homes are setting a new green standard
The UK has among the highest rates of fuel poverty and one of the most energy inefficient housing stock of any country in Europe. For a country rich in innovation, technology and talent, this is deeply worrying.
A 2015 report by the Association for the Conservation of Energy found that 21 million out of the 26 million households in the UK had a “poor” level of energy efficiency – homes that have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) between D and G. The average UK home has an EPC rating of D, which could mean that a family is at risk of fuel poverty.
Not only this, but the built environment contributes an estimated 40 percent of all carbon emissions in the UK, according to the UK Green Building Council. If we’re to get serious about cutting carbon emissions, then housing and energy-efficiency is the place to start.
Which is why we’re upping the stakes.
Our new homes that we have installed for the Royal Borough of Greenwich are some of the greenest in the UK. While the average home has an EPC rating of D, ours are above the A rating, with a score of 101/100.
Not only this, but these zero-carbon homes are available for social rent. Between 2017-18, only 6,463 homes were built available for social rent, despite 1.25m families on waiting lists
By building these four homes, we are tackling fuel poverty and the housing crisis, by building high-quality, energy-efficient affordable homes for those that need it most.
The scheme supports Royal Borough of Greenwich’s targets to make Greenwich net-zero-carbon by 2030, 20 years ahead of UK Government policy and is the pilot for the Greenwich Builds programme to deliver 750 new council homes throughout Royal Greenwich.
Because the homes were precision-engineered in our Knaresborough factory they are of a higher quality than traditionally built new builds and are extremely air-tight, significantly reducing heat loss. The homes also come with solar panels and air-source heat pumps that ensure the homes are carbon neutral.
For context, a modern gas boiler produces 12 times as much carbon dioxide as our air-source heat pumps.
Factory-built homes can also be built in half the time as traditional construction and the government has backed this modern method of construction in the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ package.
But even as we emerge from the post-Covid world, we must remember that the next crisis may only be round the corner: the climate crisis.
If we are to recover fast, build the homes the country needs, and reach the government’s 2050 net-zero targets, we must now prioritise building greener homes in a greener way.