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Gaunt Francis begins work on zero-carbon home

Work has started this week on Gaunt Francis Architects’ version of a Code Level 6 net zero-carbon house.

The prototype house, which is being designed by the Cardiff and London-based firm for Barratt Homes, is the culmination of two years work to meet the difficult criteria.

Dubbed the Green House, the home is being built at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, where Sheppard Robson and Kingspan unveiled the UK’s first zero-carbon house last April.

The house features Aircrete concrete wall panels and pre-cast concrete floor slabs to help meet the required U value and airtightness tests.

Chief executive of Barratt Developments Mark Clare said: ‘If the UK is to move to zero-carbon new housing, we have to rapidly establish what works best for the consumer and the environment.

‘The most exciting aspect of the Barratt ‘Green House’ is that it’s not designed as a one off: we will take what works and apply it to housebuilding across the country.’

The push for zero-carbon housing is stepping up as the government has set a legislative target that by 2016 all new homes will be net zero carbon.

However, an inside source told the AJ back in August (‘Zero-carbon target “too costly”’, AJ 30.08.07) that the cost of zero-carbon homes will make these targets impossible to achieve, adding that the government’s 2016 target is ‘complete science fiction’.

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