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Developers Opt for Low-Carbon Building Despite Government Cuts



Major investment announcement by British and Chinese companies shows that affordable, zero carbon, high quality homes are important to future homebuilding British Solar Renewables (BSR) will be installing solar and energy storage technologies in a new green housing development.

China National Building Materials (CNBM) is working in partnership with WElink Energy Ltd. (“WElink”) to deploy a global, high quality, low cost housing solution. The solution is branded Barcelona Housing Systems (“BHS”) and is a state-of-the-art, pre-engineered construction that has been designed by one of Europe’s longest established Architectural firms, Cesar Martinell & Associates.
BHS housing features a zero carbon building that is constructed with zero water usage and zero waste. The ‘Green Town” concept is further enhanced by the use of roof-top solar and waste-to-energy and storage technologies amongst other leading edge low carbon energy technologies. BSR will be involved in delivering solar and energy storage components and in constructing the homes.
CNBM and WElink are initially committing over £800m for the first 8,000 housing units in the UK market. The BHS solution is set to deliver with BSR 4,000 units in 2016-18 and a further 4,000 units to follow with an appetite to accelerate further developments. WElink are also active in Chile and Spain.

That solar and storage technologies are now being incorporated into new building developments demonstrates that despite ongoing government actions to slow the growth of highly efficient green homes, there is still robust demand. The homes that will be built will be zero-carbon, affordable, and high quality. They will only be connected to the energy grid as a backup as they will produce and store their own electricity.
The REA’s CEO, Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE, said: “Today’s announcement proves that low carbon homes are commercially viable and are attractive to new home owners. Installing solar and storage on new developments is not a play-thing of the rich, in fact these are affordable family homes.
Britain requires a tremendous level of investment and political commitment to build over 200,000 homes needed a year. Today’s announcement demonstrates an excellent model for how to move forwards; these homes will have very low energy bills over their lives and owners will live more independently than ever before.

Instead of actively supporting Zero Carbon Homes such as these, the Government has removed the regulations that would ensure that all new homes are built in this way. The REA now looks to the Government to reinstate the Zero Carbon Homes policy to take the lead and ensure more affordable green homes are built.
The decision by Sheffield Council announced yesterday to postpone installing solar panels on 6,000 council homes, with the view to reducing energy bills, additionally demonstrates the robust demand for renewable energy systems on housing developments and the detrimental impact of government policy in this area.”