Zero net homes: a huge opportunity for developers

By the time this blog is written, I’ll be in my first building under construction – on the Isle of Wight, in December – but it’s not because I’m a newbie to the buying…

Zero net homes: a huge opportunity for developers

By the time this blog is written, I’ll be in my first building under construction – on the Isle of Wight, in December – but it’s not because I’m a newbie to the buying and selling of housing stocks. I’ve actually sold a housing stock to a new buyer, very recently, in June 2017, and I’ve also written about why you should consider buying homebuilders, but this post is about more than that.

In fact, and this is what I’m hoping to prove to you, this is the first post focused on net zero homes.

Net zero homes were first touted as a game-changer in the third world, where the idea is to build energy-efficient homes without using fossil fuels. Now developers are actually starting to build residential zero net homes and hopefully it will help bring attention to solar panels, battery storage and other forms of alternative energy.

One of the developers behind the first climate-conscious home, Berkeley Homes, are about to release a new policy statement that was written especially for the housebuilder.

The statement, released earlier this week, is called “Development at the heart of sustainability” and is a comprehensive attempt to lay out the steps a new homebuilder must take to better manage carbon emissions, air pollution and create an inclusive neighbourhood.

Any policy statement backed by Berkeley Homes has to be based on at least one of three key elements:

Community involvement

Organising and supporting local people to be more engaged and better aware of what’s going on

Design for long-term sustainability

The policy statement also lays out a vision for the future – a social and environmentally sustainable community of houses with community spaces, green roofs and detached driveways.

One of the easiest ways to learn about net zero homes is to compare them to the traditional architecture we all know and love, such as the classic two-bedroom terrace in south-east London, or an architecturally important flat that has been rendered out of existence by demolition or redevelopment plans.

I know that in London my opinion carries a lot of weight, and my old flat had a certain charm, which I missed – so I was lucky enough to find another one in old Edgware. My former flat had similar touches of gingerbread to my old one, plus a kerbstone plinth on the front wall. Sure, it was hardly state-of-the-art, but you have to try. I suppose I also had a window from the underneath to the ground floor, and I’m happy with that.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. Imagine if a developer forced you to try out a prototype to see how your vision matches the other houses?

Next year, the UK will host the UN’s Climate Summit. This is a sign that politicians and business leaders are finally waking up to the need to curtail carbon emissions. Think of the parties, concerts and events planned for next year to keep up the momentum.

Make the case for net zero homes here.

Want to develop your own net zero homes in your area? Contact my co-host Alastair Geoghegan at [email protected]

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