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Tips for Building Zero-Carbon Homes

With the introduction of a major update to building regulations, the CO2 emissions of all new residential properties will be reduced by 30% starting in June 2022. Heating and powering buildings account for 40% of UK energy use, and these regulations will affect the design of all homes, including children’s homes, care homes and student accommodation. The properties will have to be designed in a way that improves the efficiency of heating and ventilating, thereby lowering energy bills as well as creating a more comfortable living environment.

From June 2022, new homes will meet these new standards by integrating low-carbon technologies, including insulation and air-tight construction; efficient mechanical and electrical systems; and renewable sourcing of power and heat. We will talk you through some of the most efficient and popular technologies that we are seeing homeowners installing.

These new standards will help towards a greener, more sustainable future and will begin to prepare the UK for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025. To read more about the Future Homes Standard please see our blog New Homes, Extensions and the Future Homes Standard.

Solar Panels

Among the major greenhouse gases in the UK is CO2. Once installed solar panels produce zero greenhouse gases and can last for over 30 years, requiring little to no maintenance. Plus, excess solar power can be sold back to the grid to generate a return on the investment. Using solar panels, you can harvest energy from the sun throughout the year, even on cloudy days, store it in batteries and use it during the day and night to heat water, power homes, and even charge electric cars.

Heat Pumps

With the help of a compressor and circulating device of liquid or gas refrigerant, heat pumps can transfer heat from an outdoor source, either air, ground or water, to the inside of a building. We usually find that a ground source pump is a more cost-effective and feasible solution in our bespoke homes projects. Your home can benefit from a heat pump in several ways. In comparison to traditional heating, pumping the heat uses less energy and as summer approaches, the unit can also be reversed and used to power an air conditioning unit. Heat pumps require little maintenance, some components will require some servicing once a year, however, this can usually be carried out by a homeowner. Due to the efficiency of these heat pump systems, carbon emissions will be reduced and your home will be heated for less cost. Heat pumps that use water as their source of heat are capable of reaching efficiency levels as high as 600%.

Sustainable Materials

By using sustainable building materials, it is possible to significantly reduce carbon emissions and energy, resulting in lower energy bills. Sustainable materials do not harm the environment from production through to disposal, and they can also sometimes be easily recycled. One of the most recycled materials in the world is steel, as it doesn’t lose its properties through the process. Steel is usually used for structural elements, but can also be utilised in building details, fixtures and fittings, such as railings, plug sockets, sinks and furniture. An upcoming popular material to use in insulating your home is sheep’s wool., which has a low carbon footprint in its production, is 100% natural and is abundantly available in Britain. It is an excellent insulator as its fibers are capable of creating millions of air pockets to trap cold air. It is often used in walls, lofts and ceilings. Reclaimed wood is a highly popular material to use in homes, it is an appealing material to use for doors, flooring, beams and window frames.


If you want to discuss building your zero-carbon home or improving your current home, contact us today!

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