Towards Zero Carbon Housing Futures Project

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‘Towards Zero Carbon Housing Futures?’

This 9 month project was funded by the ESRC (IAA) via the University of Sheffield Early Career Researcher Scheme and finished in March 2015. Principal Investigator: Sarah Payne

Project Report:

The final report was published in December 2015 and is available for download here: ZCH Research Report FINAL December 2015

Research Synopsis:

The UK Government is committed to a zero carbon housing future.  By 2016, all new homes will have to demonstrate that over a year, the net carbon emissions from energy use in the home are zero.  This will require a significant step change to the traditional building techniques of much of the UK housebuilding industry, where standardised design practices and efficient construction methods remain favoured business strategies.  Research examining zero carbon housebuilding (ZCH) has focused primarily on investigating the challenges of material alteration and consumer attitudes and behaviours.  Despite recent research highlighting the significance of housebuilders’ strategically selective behaviours (Payne 2013) and organisational networks (Henneberry & Parris 2013) in influencing policy responsiveness and deliverability, ZCH research continues to neglect the perspective and understanding of the UK’s biggest producers of new homes.  In response, this project undertakes primary research to evaluate the efficacy of existing ZCH policy interventions in new housebuilding and then engages key housebuilding stakeholders through a series of workshops and roundtable events to discuss the research results and consider alternative policy solutions.  The purpose is to suggest more effective policy interventions for stimulating housebuilders’ ZCH outputs; and, open up a more sophisticated dialogue between housebuilding stakeholders around the key policy issues of zero carbon housing, housing supply and ‘green growth’.

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