Is sustainable housing the future?

With more housebuilders attempting to become more sustainable, like Barratt with the Z house prototype, the future looks hopeful for beautiful zero carbon homes. Especially after the pandemic, the majority of home buyers have highlighted the need for open green spaces and emphasised the need for protecting the biodiversity and wildlife we live alongside.

This is a big question that keeps being asked by potential first-time buyers, as house prices are sky high, and developers continue to struggle to get hold of materials and find good labour. Along with delays in the supply chain and constant issues when trying to get planning approved, there is no surprise that the government will struggle to reach its 300,000 new homes target.

But still, new challenges arise with a sudden calling for a potential end to building on flood plains, with Derbyshire being hit the most. Even though this would put a strainer on reaching the government’s delivery target, it would reduce the risk for hundreds of homeowners every year.

So what’s next?

Brownfield sites are the way forward, along with regeneration and more investment in social housing, especially as more and more people are participating in the help to buy schemes. Introduced by the government back in 2013, it has helped multiple first-time buyers get onto the property ladder, allowing them to do so with anything as low as a 5% deposit. Over 120,000 homes have been purchased using the scheme and more importantly, first-time buyers take up over 80% of the sales, who would have previously struggled to afford a home to themselves.

Passivhaus Trust hit the nail on the head regarding sustainability during the current climate emergency, as they tackle buildings being the main culprit of carbon emissions. In the hope that the construction industry will reduce its carbon emissions and provide zero-carbon homes as the standard within the next decade.

Richard Smith, NHBC’s Head of Standards, Innovation and Research said:

“In a year so focused on health, this report is a timely reminder of the many benefits natures can provide when successfully integrated into new homes and developments.

“As we head towards COP26, we want to support those in the housing and construction sector to think more about how they can better integrate biodiversity and climate resilience into new home developments to help to achieve the country’s climate change goals and improve health and wellbeing in local communities. Biodiversity Net Gain will soon become mandatory in England so there’s no excuse not to start looking at these issues now.”