Zero Carbon Homes “Too Expensive” To Build
Low energy or zero carbon homes might consume zero energy, but they may also consume large profits. The zero carbon houses require a deep pocket to be carefully and efficiently designed, at least according to the UK Government. The costs of going through with the zero carbon standards could be very costly. According to the latest studies, it will require 40,000 GBP more per home, than a regular house building plan.
The design developers are already getting headaches form the government’s point of view of high costs which should not be imposed on home buyers, but are yet to be supported otherwise. It proves to be very hard to juggle between affordability, cost-efficiency, and homes that are supposed to reach levels 5 and 6 envisaged by the Housing Code.
The decision of the UK government to scrap the plan predicted for 2016 carbon free houses is justified by high costs and statements that developers need more time to make the houses. Even if houses, like the one built by Cardiff University developers, cost 1000 GDP per meter square, which is in the range of the average housing prices between 800 GDP and 1000 GDP, the Government believes that the price of carbon-free houses should not exceed 800 GBP. Developers do not agree on this matter, and their theory is based on a successfully completed zero carbon housing project.
Completed Housing Project
A zero carbon house was already completed on UK soil, and according to the project manager Cardiff University, the house produces more energy than it takes from the grid. They also said that costs were not that excessive with 1,000 GBP per meter square which is in the range of normal for UK housing prices. The homeowners, once they buy the house, can also use the extra energy production by selling it and collecting revenues.
The heating system and air system rely on the sun, and the house has insulated walls. The house will need to transfer energy from the community network during winters, but during summers it can export its own energy to balance out the energy use.
What is the Affordable Alternative
In Bridgend, another zero carbon home was built, and according to developers it did not exceed the costs or exhaust the budget. The developers saved some money on roof construction by minimizing costs for the bolting on the solar panel by adjusting the panels to the roof faced southwards and allowing for natural light. Hot water, heating, and ventilation are provided through solar generation and rely on maximum two sources o energy supply and batteries, which also cut the costs.
Home developers agree that technological advances and smart designs reduce the costs significantly as the above example proved, benefiting the whole community for a very long time. They still firmly advocate that the costs are reasonable and similar to ordinary home construction costs.
It is still left to see if the sample houses are going to function in reality and if they perform how it was predicted since new projects do not always work in practice once they are implemented in real-life situations.
The Governmental Doctrine
Achieving level 5 and 6 is energy saving could be very demanding, and according to the Home Builders Federation, Britain is already producing energy-efficient homes under current regulation, which, if compared at the global level, are up to 50% more efficient already than the homes built before.
Still, all other environmental organizations and house developers think that the government should not be concerned with the costs or total building costs since it has long-term positive results. People want the houses to be built, and they want to live in such a home where they will be able to save money on bills over the course of years.
Nevertheless, the government did not yet give in, and they firmly stand behind their decision disregarding the opinions of the public. The plan and the zero carbon homes code were revoked and zero carbon building projects have been laid off for now.