A multi-million-pound delivery hub of experts in design and energy conservation to help housebuilders meet green targets for new homes has been launched.

The cross-sector future homes taskforce announced the news yesterday at a housing and environment summit which included housebuilders Barratts and Archway Homes.

Barratt Developments chief executive, and taskforce member, David Thomas said: “We believe every business needs to take responsibility for tackling climate change and are proud to be working alongside other industry leaders to build for a greener future.”

He said Barratts had become one of the first major national housebuilders to have its carbon reduction objectives approved by the Science Based Target initiative.

Although the UK’s target for net-zero carbon homes isn’t until 2050, the deadline for building new homes that are electrically heated and have electric vehicle charger points is 2025. The Labour party has also said if it’s elected the deadline would be within the next few years.

Home Builders Federation, HBF, executive chairman Stewart Baseley, said: “The environmental agenda is an absolute priority for the UK’s housebuilding industry and one on which we are committed to leading the way.

“We will work with government and stakeholders to set ambitious but deliverable goals that will ensure we make our contribution to environmental targets and achieve our ambition of net-zero homes and a net-zero industry.”

House building sector gears up for the green challenge

Green roofs, reflective walls, trip glazed windows with more fresh air via mechanical ventilation and passive cooling are among the features of net-zero carbon homes. Enhanced water efficiency and improved flood resilience are also regarded as important measures for such homes.

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said lenders were keen to support innovative housebuilders, especially SMEs who have often led the way on green schemes, with development and refurbishment finance.

The future homes taskforce, comprising government, house building, utility provision, material suppliers, and environmental groups, is developing a masterplan for shaping new homes. This would sequence workstreams across the sector including supply chains to fulfill government targets on net zero, biodiversity, water conservation, and air quality.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I look forward to seeing the recommendations and plans of the Future Homes taskforce later this year to support this exciting agenda as we work towards a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful built environment.”

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