Climate change is rapidly intensifying. In response, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) requires all new homes in 2022 to be net-zero carbon buildings. They must produce no more CO2 than they consume in energy for a year. As a contractor, you must know the proper planning and construction techniques to comply. This article will explore green building techniques in new UK homes to achieve net-zero status.
The UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework provides guidelines for new homes in 2022, aiming to improve the energy efficiency of new homes and reduce their carbon emissions. Contractors can show compliance by using the UKGBC template in reporting construction information, thereby ensuring verification from a third party. There are several ways for builders to follow the guidelines, but some of the most effective measures are here.
A Sustainable Roof
The roof can absorb up to 70% of the sun’s rays, making the house much hotter. In winter, it becomes a significant cause of heat loss. Residents then increase their usage of an air conditioner in summer and a heater in winter. That consumes much electricity, increasing the home’s carbon emissions. One of the most essential features to consider for net-zero carbon is a sustainable roof that keeps the house cool in summer and warm in winter.
A sustainable roof can be an effective way of reducing a building’s carbon emissions. To comply with the UKGBC guidelines, ensure your sustainable roof is designed and installed correctly. You need to take a few things into account when designing and installing a sustainable roof.
First, to help reduce the amount of heat in the home in summer and the amount of heat lost in winter, ensure that the roof is adequately insulated. Second, to avoid high emissions, ensure that the roof is made from sustainable materials. That includes using recycled materials where possible and using materials that are low in carbon emissions.
Finally, avoid adding old roofs to the growing waste in the environment. Ensure that the roof is designed for easy disassembling and recycling eventually. Use materials that do not need to be cut or drilled out during demolition. Use roofing hardware that can be easily reused or recycled, like stainless steel or copper. These are also far more durable than traditional roofing nails and screws.
As any homeowner knows, keeping a comfortable temperature inside the house can be challenging. The heat seeps in through the walls and roof in the summer, making the house unbearably hot. And in the winter, the cold air slips through cracks and crevices, making it difficult to keep the house warm. One way to combat this problem is to use high-performance insulation in the roof, walls, ceilings, and floors. That reduces reliance on heating and cooling systems, saving energy and money.
Some types of insulation can be toxic and add to waste when discarded. The best insulation is made from sustainable materials like recycled denim, paper fibre, cellulose, or natural fibres. It is also designed for easy disassembling and recycling later.
Noise from outside and poor indoor air quality are additional problems for home residents. High-performance insulation can improve the acoustic quality of a home by absorbing sound waves and reducing noise pollution. It also helps to improve indoor air quality by preventing mould and mildew growth. As a result, it is an integral part of creating a healthy and sustainable home.
Most homes use electricity that has high carbon emissions. One of the most important ways to achieve net zero carbon status is renewable energy. There are several ways that builders can use renewable energy in homes.
To reduce carbon emissions and save money on energy bills, install solar panels on the roof. These convert sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power the home. Another way to use renewable energy is to install a wind turbine. These generate electricity from the wind, which can then be used to power the home.
Another excellent way to reduce carbon emissions and save money on energy bills is for builders to install a ground source heat pump. These pumps use the earth’s heat to generate electricity. That can then power the home.
Water is a vital resource that is slowly being depleted. It is essential to conserve water to achieve net zero carbon status. There are several ways builders can save water in homes.
Traditional toilets and faucets use large volumes of water. Install low-flow toilets and faucets that use less water. That can save a significant amount of water in a year.
Watering the garden and washing the car and the outside of the home also consume large volumes of water. Another way to conserve water is to install rainwater harvesting systems. These collect rainwater and store it for use in the garden and to clean the car and the home’s exterior.
Build Sustainable Homes
Homes contribute significantly to carbon emissions. That is why sustainable homes are the future of home construction. They help reduce carbon emissions, save money on energy bills, and improve the health of residents.
Builders must comply with the UKGBC guidelines for net zero carbon building of new homes. They can construct sustainable homes by installing a sustainable roof and using high-performance insulation made from sustainable materials. They can also install renewable energy sources and conserve water through low-flow toilets and faucets. All of these measures work together to create a net zero carbon home.