When we designed zero carbon house, we had three aims. We wanted to:
Be zero carbon
We wanted to create a zero carbon home. In other words, we wanted to build a home that emitted as little CO2 into the atmosphere as possible. The Code for Sustainable Homes gave us a standard to aim for. We aimed for the highest standard achievable – Level 6.
Improve an existing home (retrofit)
Secondly, we wanted to create a zero carbon house through upgrading (retrofitting) an existing home. There are technical challenges in adapting a 170-year-old early Victorian terrace to Level 6 but there are ways of improving existing houses. This is important because more than 80 per cent of existing UK homes will still be in use by 2050. Also, a considerable amount of energy is used in construction, so it’s more sustainable to adapt a house than knock it down and start again.
Thirdly, we wanted to inspire others through the use of space, light, materials – in other words by creating architecture. We wanted to demonstrate that green buildings do not have to “be dull” or sacrifice high design standards. We wanted to have both architectural and environmental excellence.
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