Bellway’s Future Home Could Be the Blueprint for Eco Living
For all the alarming news stories about the immediate threat of climate change and the contribution made by the property industry, there are also stories of encouragement.
One such story is Bellway’s commencement on The Future Home – an experimental eco house designed to monitor innovations in building materials, double and triple glazing, storage of solar energy, recovered heat from waste water and efficient use of air source heat pumps.
The bespoke chamber will simulate various weather conditions to test the effects of the sustainable features in both regular and extreme temperatures, ranging from -20°C to 40°C, while replicating wind, snow and solar radiation. The purpose of this is to learn more about how construction of homes in the UK and the technologies used can help the industry meet net zero carbon targets, how they will be used in practice and what the running costs will be.
This is very timely, following the recent heatwave, as much discussion around the soaring temperatures focused on how the UK’s infrastructure and built environment isn’t conducive to uncharacteristic weather. With this kind of methodical approach to build design, Bellway is helping to prepare for what could become increasingly regular severe weather.
The Future Home is being built at The University of Salford’s net-zero research facility, Energy House 2.0, which is set to officially open later this year. Energy House 2.0 comprises two environmental chambers accommodating four houses, with an ability to mimic over 95% of the world’s climatic conditions.
Bellway’s project is expected to be completed in October, from which point data will be collected and analysed, at which point retrofitting will take place to upgrade certain features to measure the difference between energy generated and lost in different climates. Guests will be invited to stay at the house to assess comfort levels.
In addition to the Energy House 2.0 project, Bellway are building four Future Homes in Callerton, Northumberland, as a kind of real-time assessment, whereby the properties will be available for open sale and homeowners will work with the developer to monitor energy usage.
With construction being responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, this kind of future-proofing is essential to the construction industry reversing the trend, while helping prepare for environmental unpredictability.
At Classic Folios, we are actively helping developers achieve their sustainable goals through our Sustainability and Community Guides, Sustainable Welcome Gifts and our award-winning portal, Spaciable, which digitalises key processes and allows admins and home users to upload documents, rather than circulating hard copies. There is currently the digital equivalent of around 14,400 trees on Spaciable. The enthusiasm we have seen for our sustainable products, along with the kind of proactive approach to the build process being driven by developers like Bellway, show there is an appetite to rethink the way the industry works, rather than settle for damage limitation.