Thursday, May 10, 2012

Carbon con

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Work has restarted on the groundbreaking "green" homes project at Hanham Hall on the outskirts of Bristol... Developer Barratt Homes won the contract to build the pioneering one, two, three, four and five-bed homes which are expected to set the construction industry's benchmark for "green" living... so they meet the new 2016 Zero Carbon Building Regulation standards...(full story)

Thing is that the houses, whilst having many interesting features, won’t actually be zero carbon. Now, you'd think that 'zero carbon' is pretty clear cut - but what the Govt have done is change the definition of 'zero carbon' to make the standard easier to meet!! (See here and here for some of the past debate).

HCA head of area David Warburton said: "It has been our long-held ambition to deliver an exemplar, energy efficient community at Hanham Hall, which local people will be proud to live in.

"This is now one of two projects of its kind in the country. It is great news that local people will soon see evidence of the bold vision for the project coming to life when work progresses on the delivery of a fantastic new modern and sustainable community at Hanham Hall."

I certainly want to see truly sustainable homes being built but they won’t be if they are not zero carbon. And when I read comments like the one above I also wonder whether they have given much thought to social sustainability, including making homes affordable and having a decent mixed community and facilities etc? Economic, social and environmental factors must work together for proper sustainability to be achieved.