Tuesday, June 12, 2007

UK Gets First Zero-Carbon Home

Earlier this year, the British government announced an ambitious target of having all new homes built carbon neutral by 2016. This week saw the first step towards that goal as the "Lighthouse" was recognized as the nation's first zero carbon home.

The prototype is being billed as "the most environmentally friendly home yet built" in the UK, and it is the first to meet the government's highest standards for sustainability. Energy efficient construction methods were employed in the construction of the two bedroom house, which also features renewable and sustainable energy technologies such as solar powered water heaters and top notch water efficiency devices. In fact, a spokesman boasts that the building will only require heating 6 weeks of every year.

The Lighthouse also hopes to put money back in the pockets of consumers both through energy savings and lower price. By reaching "level 6" of the new government sustainability code, the Lighthouse is exempted from the federal stamp duty of 1% on new homes.

The unveiling is the first step in what housing minister, Yvette Cooper sees as a revolution in housing.

"A quarter of carbon emissions come from our homes. That's why zero-carbon homes are so important," said Yvette Cooper.

"We need a complete revolution in the way we design and build our homes. Many of the technologies exist already, as these new homes show. Now we need more work to test them and deliver economies of scale."

See the BBC article for a diagram of the interior layout or take the vidoe tour below.

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