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29 August 2011

Fall in greener homes building costs

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by Gill Montia

Fall in greener homes building costs

Building new homes to greener, low-carbon standards costs less each year, according to a new report from Communities Minister, Andrew Stunell.

Research based on interviews with developers and the latest developments in environmental technologies show the additional costs associated with the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes continuing to fall.

For example, homes built to Code level 3 saw average extra costs down from £4,458 in 2008 to £1,128 in 2010.

Level 3 homes have to be 25% more energy efficient than those built to the 2006 Building Regulations standards and are likely to have more thermally efficient walls, windows and roofs.

They also need to be designed to use no more than 105 litres of water per person per day, so residents can expect a cunningly-shaped bath, aerating taps and a dual flush WC.

Built-in cycle storage and a room that can be easily set up as a home office may also be included by committed developers.

Commenting on sustainable building costs, Mr Stunell, says: “The progress that has been made does not only benefit developers building Code-standard homes, it also provides valuable lessons ahead of the transition to building new homes to zero carbon standards from 2016.”

He adds: “As a country we still have lot of work to do to reduce carbon emissions from new development, but what these figures show us is that as the construction industry continues to build more sustainable homes, there is further potential for the costs associated building greener homes to continue falling”.

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