Research and analysis

Low-carbon homes: best strategies and pitfalls

Report advises constructors on strategies to ensure modern, low-carbon domestic buildings meet expectations after findings that many do not.



Data from Innovate UK’s Building Performance Evaluation Programme was analysed for this report. We also looked at 76 homes on leading-edge developments where high-performing design was a priority. The report showed that these buildings were falling short of performance expectations. Part of these expectations is the legal commitment by the UK to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050.

Problems meeting demanding standards and new technologies

The report on homes found that many did not meet the demanding standards for building fabric and system efficiencies. Results showed that buildings were using up to 3.5 times more energy than they were designed for. There were also major teething problems with new technologies such as solar water heaters, heat-recovery ventilation, automatic blinds and heating controls.

Our aim with the report is to show which strategies work best and to advise constructors on potential mistakes to avoid.

Data from the projects involved in the programme has been uploaded to the new Building Data Exchange at the Digital Catapult centre. It will be available to help designers, developers and policymakers to innovate and to improve their digital skills.

Published 2 February 2016