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Built environment – Home Group

Home Group is a housing association, and one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care.

When we’re building new homes and communities, for people to rent or buy, we’re building them so they are fit for the future. We’re responding to the government’s future homes standard, which means installing only renewable heating systems from 2025, looking at the use of heat networks for decarbonisation and using modern methods of construction, such as offsite construction.

Recently, we built Gateshead Innovation Village – an exciting live research project which looks at new ways to solve the housing crisis. We are working with BRE and Northumbria University to extract the insight from the project, more of which will come in 2021. The project has created 41 homes – 16 volumetric houses and 19 modular houses, alongside six traditional houses. Different house types have been built using traditional, modular and modern methods of construction to robustly compare and contrast the performance of each building type.

The homes within the project are fitted with four different electric heating systems, in order to review things like the balance of install, servicing, customer running costs and impact towards switching from natural gas.  Three of the systems have already met the Government’s 2025 Future Homes Standard of 75% – 80% less CO2, with a fourth not far behind.

In addition to building new homes that are fit for the future, we are also working on our existing homes. With over 55,000 homes in hundreds of communities, we are focused on improving their energy efficiency. It’s the right thing to do for the environment, and we hope it will also help to reduce the risk of fuel poverty for our customers. We’re doing this in line with the government’s fuel poverty strategy and we’ll make sure that as many of our homes as possible achieve an EPC rating (a review of a property’s energy efficiency) of C by 2030.

Case study courtesy of North East Chamber of Commerce Climate Change document: