SCHOOL OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT 08010743 – MSc TIMBER ENGINEERING

BUILDING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
MODULE LEADER: CÉLINE GARNIER

The analysis of the announcement in Gordon Brown’s pre-budget that “within ten years every new home will be zero carbon home”

Conclusions and personal comments about this new regulation.

Coursework One. 28th November 2008

OUTLINE
1. Introduction 2. UK Carbon emissions 3. Zero Carbon Houses. Concept. 4. Benefits of Zero Carbon Houses 5. Steps to achieve ZCH 6. Analysis of a ZCH: Eco Lighthouse 7. Conclusions

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Appendix A: Stamp Duty Land Tax Exemption Appendix B: Personal point of view about ZCH regulation References 24 .

TVs. developers. The first one is about the regulations to achieve a zero carbon house and consequently to reach the problematic stamp duty land tax exemption. It means that over a year there are no net carbon emissions resulting from the operation of the dwelling. 24 . This could be achieved either through steps taken at the individual dwelling level or through site wide strategies. To achieve zero carbon houses is necessary to set up brand new technologies in a very beginning process of utilization which do not ensure high output. This definition has been criticized by architects.1. The second appendix is a personal point of view of the impact of this new regulation into the property market and into the affected sectors. and researchers. Gordon Brown stated the target of zero carbon houses for new dwellings by 2016. 2006). With this report the steps to achieve a zero carbon house will be described and an example of a current zero carbon house will be analyzed. computer and other appliances) rather than just those energy uses that are currently part of building regulations (space heating. The government’s definition of a zero carbon home taken from the Department of Communities and Local Government launch of the zero carbon homes consultation on 13 December 2006. says: “A zero carbon home is one with ‘zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from all energy use in the home’. The final target is to reduce the CO2 emissions and design high energy efficiency dwellings. hot water. The definition encompasses all energy use in the home (cooking. Introduction In December 2006 Mr. ventilation and some lighting). At the end it has been included two appendixes. So it will not be necessary for each dwelling to have its own micro generation capacity where development level solutions would be more appropriate” (DCLG.

it was estimated to be 38 billion tones carbon dioxide in 2004. A definition given for CO2equivalent emission is: ‘the amount of CO2 emission that would cause the same time-integrated radioactive forcing. The equivalent CO2 emission is obtained by multiplying the emission of a GHG by its Global Warming Potential (GWP) for the given time horizon. Equivalent CO2 emission is a standard and useful metric for comparing emissions of different GHGs but does not imply the same climate change responses’ (IPCC 2007 p36). The UK contributes with around 2 per cent to the global emissions. over a given time horizon. According to the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.2. 24 . The mix of GHGs it is obtained by summing the equivalent CO2 emissions of each gas. as an emitted amount of a long-lived Green House Gases (GHCs) or a mixture of GHGs. UK Carbon Emissions Carbon dioxide is the main man-made contributor to global warming.

17 per cent from business and 15 per cent from housing fossil fuel use. in UK the 40 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions were from the energy supply sector. (below) Share of different sectors in total anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2004 in terms of CO2-eq. emissions from road transport have increased by 10 per cent. 2007) In 2006. (Forestry includes deforestation. 24 . 22 per cent from road transport. while emissions from the energy supply industry have reduced by 9 per cent and business emissions have reduced by 16 per cent (DEFRA. whilst residential emissions have fallen by 4 percent. emissions from the energy supply industry have risen by 1. 2008).Figure 1: (above) Share of different anthropogenic GHGs in total global emissions in 2004 in terms of CO2-eq. Since 1990. Since 2005.) (IPPC.5 per cent.

3 149.6 149.1 582. The Kyoto protocol committed in 1997 assume that UK carbon emissions during 2008-2012 period must be 12.4 196.8 138. UK will not reach the Kyoto target.1 559.0 147.2 Other* 69.1 198.1 147. But the most important of this target is to make sure that achieving this goal.2% -8.4 55.3 548.7 554.4 599.0 156.4% -5.83 mill of tones.2 554.1 555.2% -3.0 567.7 Kyoto = -12.9 140. The total reduction from 1990 would be around 11 per cent. cooking.5 148.7 66.0 148.8 54.1% -1. If the trend in 2008 is the same that in 2007.8 224.7 555.2 70.6 559.4% -8.9 191.5 197.6 64.4 191.6% -7.3% -6.1 143.5 543.5 58.3% -6.7 142.5% -7. emissions level is a task that implies to all the sectors. it means a Carbon emission of 538.9 56.7 157.1 Residential 155.5 per cent lower than 1990 level.1 151.9 57.8 571.8% -7.6 148. lighting or any appliance.9 540.4% -6.3 152.0 201. Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007* Business 226.6% -7.4 65.6 200. As well.3 150.8 66. 2008).7 Total 592.4 65. every person can afford the use of electricity for heating.3 549.1 549.3 188.5 141.8% -4.5 165.3 159.3 210.0 143.Changing from the actual Carbon emissions level to a lower or.1 155.3 193.5 155.8 150.1 61.8 143.8 203.0% +1. even zero.4% -6.2 148.6 Transport 140.6% -8.5 155.3 68.6 193.0 146. competiveness in the UK industry has to be ensured.1 155.1 146.6 million in 2004 to 4.4 542. it involves also the domestic sector.35 million tones.6 71.0 146.5 million in nowadays (E-On Manifesto.3% -5. it means 2 per cent lower than last year.8 55. The number of people who spent more than 10 per cent of their income on energy (definition of energy poverty) has risen from 1.5 191.7 153. the CO2 emissions will be 532.4 188.5 % of 1990 level -0.0 548.7 142.2% Estimated 24 .6 196.0 52.

3. 3. The current definition in the Code for Sustainable Homes of zero carbon only permits energy generated on site. Dozens of criticism say this is no efficient and it could not make feasible to deliver zero carbon nonhousing buildings because this kind of buildings require much higher power than houses. UK CO2 emissions by end user 1990 – 2007 (Source AEA. 2008).Table 1. Figure 2. says: “A zero carbon home is one with ‘zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from all energy use in the home’. 2008). This definition is far for being universally agreed. a developer and an architect. Zero Carbon Houses. TVs. 24 . The definition encompasses all energy use in the home (cooking. Concept. It comes three different definitions from the government. UK emissions since 1990 and Kyoto target for period 2008 – 2012 (Source AEA.1 GOVERNMENT’S DEFINITION. Government’s definition: the government’s definition of a zero carbon home taken from the Department of Communities and Local Government launch of the zero carbon homes consultation on 13 December 2006.

Government exposed that all new residential building must achieve zero carbon emissions by 2016.computer and other appliances) rather than just those energy uses that are currently part of building regulations (space heating. It means that over a year there are no net carbon emissions resulting from the operation of the dwelling. 4.2 ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS. The building fabric achieves a step change reduction in the need for heat and power. Overall annual co2 emissions to atmosphere are zero. considering biomass as carbon neutral. Undoubtedly it will have an important impact into the environment. 3. hot water. 2. All heat and hot water is generated from renewable energy sources within the site premises. Other benefits imply technology impact advances. 2006). Reduce the demand for energy through high levels of insulation and the use of low energy appliances. 2007): 1. The entrepreneurial charity design company BioRegional defined zero carbon houses as a result of two actions (Hewit. they say that a 100% carbon neutral home is one in which (Hewit. energy independence from other 24 . making it possible to harvest a high percentage of passive energy. Fiscal and financial benefits are still about to agree. According to the architectural practice. Supply the remaining energy required from renewable sources which do not contribute to the devastating effects of climate change. Zed Factory. Developer’s definition. The achievement of zero carbon houses will benefit many aspects. ventilation and some lighting). Benefits of zero carbon houses. 2007): 1. So it will not be necessary for each dwelling to have its own micro generation capacity where development level solutions would be more appropriate” (DCLG. 3. 4. 2. Architect’s definition. This could be achieved either through steps taken at the individual dwelling level or through site wide strategies. Enough electricity is generated from renewable energies within the site premises to match the annual electrical demand.

2008). 2008). the quantity of CO2 saved per annum by 2020 is planned to be between 2.2. 24 .2.452m. According to a studio published by the Department of Communities and Local Government. The estimated benefit due to the energy efficiency together with the reliance in the grid supplied electricity means that annual bill saving could be up to £900 per house (Kingspan.2 Mt per year. The Stamp Duty Land Tax. 2008). 4. with carbon payback on technology options being achieved within a small fraction of their overall lifespan (DCLG.1. Translating these costs into a total net present cost associated with the application of a full on-site policy to all dwellings projected to be constructed to 2025. 4.1 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BENEFITS In any future policy scenario.62 Mt to 3. Savings due to energy efficiency improvement. there are defined several zero houses in different scenarios: Small Scale.2.2 ECONOMICAL BENEFITS The construction costs of achieving zero carbon in year 2016 are estimated to be between 17% and 24% higher than the costs for dwellings built to the standards of Building Regulations dwellings. Urban Regeneration and Market Town and taking into account several kind of dwellings (DCLG.countries. it is estimated that. by 2020 the total of electrical energy being generated by renewable sources as a direct consequence of the policy could total 5.250m to £14. the housings built up to 2025 will save an estimated 6. By 2025 the increase in compliance costs is assumed to be between 14% and 18%.5 Mt per annum in 2050 or 392 Mt in total. It must be taken into account that most of this saving has to be assigned to the maintenance and the management of the technologies involved. 4. From the modeling. Looking forward by 2050.2 TWh. equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the total UK electrical energy projection. City Infill.16 Mt . gives an estimated range of £10. sensitiveness and stability to the energy price changes and house environmental certification. If construction rates continued at 2025 levels through to 2050 then the carbon saving achieved in comparison to current practice could be 21. as learning and technology development reduce the cost of low carbon technologies. Embodied carbon should not act as a barrier to encouraging zero carbon housing developments under the policy. but this should fall in future years. 4.

money invested today can multiply into the future. Standard economic theory places great store in short term gain. SDLT relief is available on the first acquisition of a new Zero-Carbon Home where the chargeable consideration does not include rent and is no more than £500. This arises from a combination of factors. no stamp duty land tax is chargeable in respect of the consideration other than the rent. money becomes worth less and less as time goes on. If the dwelling satisfies the definition of Zero Carbon Home.carbon standard on large and expensive properties.000. if any Zero-Carbon Homes have been sold since then and duty paid.3. where the SDLT will be reduce by £15.000. with future costs generally considered more affordable than costs today. Where the chargeable consideration other than rent is more than £500. HM Revenue and Customs may refuse relief where they have reasonable grounds for thinking that the dwelling is not a Zero. this model is inverted. climate change costs will grow. an accredited assessor can issue a Zero-Carbon Home certificate. In the case of climate change. While money may become worth less in the future. accordingly. SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY BENEFITS The incentive to take action on climate change nowadays is weakened by the way costs and benefits are evaluated over time. As the relief is related to the value of the home.On 7th December last year tax regulations came into force giving an exemption of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for 'Zero-Carbon Homes'. Secondly. 4. the detail of the relief is: 1. Due to the inflationary nature of most economies. Where the chargeable consideration includes both rent and other consideration and the consideration other than rent is no than £500.000. builders may try and achieve the zero.000. 2008).000. a reclaim of SDLT may be possible. The regulations only have effect until 30th September 2012 (Tollers. • damage limitation. Any delay in tackling climate change results in progressively increasing the costs of: • mitigating further climate change. (See appendix A for further information).Carbon Home. 2. the stamp duty land tax shall be reduced by £15. 24 . 3. The exemption is backdated to 1st October 2007 and.

In the other hand. raw resources supplies take this event into their own benefit to arise the price of the goods. These CO2 emission reductions due to zero carbon houses will have a positive impact within community quality of life. UK electricity and gas price comparisons over a 3-year period (Hewit. Steps to achieve zero carbon houses. the price of the electricity will be steadier and will help to reduce the number of energy poverty householders. Future costs are greater than the costs of action today. Figure 3. 2007). It is today’s costs that are discounted and it is today that society should invest everything it can in solving climate change’ (Zero Carbon Britain 2007 p42). so that continued delay progressively approaches an infinite cost.300 kWh.• repair.500 kWh and electricity average consumption of 3. The Climate Change effect has a double effect into the householder’s economy. ‘These costs rise with time. Based on an average annual gas consumption of 20. 24 . 5. In one hand events like heat wave during summer 2006 increased to the grid’s peak the electricity demand. • adaptation. Achieving zero carbon houses.

The current version of the Part L of the Building Regulations (BR). 24 . energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for a day to day electrical and hot water demand. BUILDING REGULATIONS The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) was introduced in April 2007 with the target of to raise the sustainability of dwellings above the minimum standards set out in the Building Regulations for energy and water use. It will require 25% less emissions from housing than the current version. defines energy standards for all types of building and it will revise in 2010 to be in line with the Code for Sustainable Homes. 2006 building regulations. The Department of Communities and local Government said it will be issue a consultation paper on 2010 part L at early 2009. 1percentage better than Part L.The main elements in any sustainable building are: the use of low impact materials in construction. 2008). 2 extra costs in relation to 2006 building regulations (DCLG 2007). developers and final users. conservation of fuel and power in dwellings. 5. Code Level        Improvem ent1 10% 18% 25% 44% 100% Zerocarbon 2016 2010 2013 +3% +5% Mandator y Cost2 Table 2: Code levels for sustainable homes. This code has six levels. The plan is to revise the regulations every two cycles. Building Regulations are absolutely necessary to achieve the ZCH target because it acts as starter for builders. passive solar design for space heating.1. and the water conservation. so most regulations would only be updated every six years. ranging from just above the minimum standards set out in the regulations to a zero carbon home that generates all its own power and consumes minimal water (Building.

2 PLANNING SYSTEM The idea that a building cannot only function adequately by solely using the resources that are available to it onsite is a challenging for architects and developers. DCLG is also getting communities more involved and encouraging more public participation. hygiene. Planning applications are usually dealt with by the local authority. Many types of building work will require separate permission under building regulations. faster and more accessible. The SAP method 24 . The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) sets national planning policy. The consultation also includes proposals to make thermostatic valves and mixer taps compulsory for baths to reduce the risk of being scalded by hot water (Building 2008). It will include the levels of water efficiency.000 listed buildings in Britain which their insulation measures are impractical (Zero Carbon Britain. there are around 66. and there are important environmental and cultural reasons to be in alert. The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) SAP is the auditing method to calculate and to regulate the Energy Performance Certificate of any building.There will be a change also in part G of the BR. changes to existing buildings or the local environment need planning permission. The DCLG is currently working to make more efficient the system making it simpler. It has a special focus on the building materials and on the heating system. The final level is likely to be just below level one of the CSH. The planning system must control what can be built and where. 5. so more energy-efficient equipment do not contribute to improve the rating. The energy consumed on lights and appliances are not considered. Appeals against refusal of planning permission and inquiries are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate. The goal is to ensure that people have decent affordable homes in well-designed accessible environments while protecting the countryside. 2007). to cover water efficiency and safety. which is set at 120 liters of water per person per day. Planning is not ultimately the best tool for ensure energy efficiency. Most new buildings. Local councils also prepare draft plans for their area. For example. A whole building performance standard is being considered for homes.

The greater the intensity of the light. In terms of carbon dioxide. When sun rays strike on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers. 3 • Solar electric or photovoltaic (PV). The effectiveness of this system is currently very poor (Smith. 2 • Solar thermal. The PV cell is made of one or two layers of a semi-conducting material. Energy from the sun can be used in three main ways: 1 • Passive solar design.3. which use energy from the sun to create electricity. 1 kWp of solar cells displaces about 1000 kg of CO2 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) CHP refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat in the form of hot water or steam. This tool is been used but same changes are been studied. usually silicon.provides a theoretical level of consumption depending on things as the standard levels of heating. As following. it will be explained the most common LZCT and their economical and social implication. CHP is also referred to as 'cogeneration' or 24 . 2007). Photovoltaic (PV) Photovoltaic (PV) systems utilize cells to convert solar radiation into electricity. The use of PV displaces some electricity that otherwise will need to be generated by conventional fuels but it is unlikely to supply all the electricity demand of a building. A solar thermal system supplying domestic hot water can save over 50% of fossil fuel energy needed to supply hot water demand in a dwelling. There are a significant number of technologies than can be consider for achieving zero carbon houses. Solar thermal systems. the greater the flow of electricity. LOW ZERO CARBON TECHNOLOGIES. 5. utilizing the sun's heat to provide domestic hot water for homes or swimming pools and occasionally for space heating using heated air. which needs heat from the sun and that less additional heating is required therefore it reduces the overall load. generating electricity to flow.

'total energy'. simple payback periods of approximately 15-20 years can be achieved easily. the depletion of the heat source is not noticeable and can be considered a truly renewable source of energy (Smith. so that if electricity demand is greater than the output of the plant. These output temperatures are ideal for low temperature systems. In building integrated applications. With the correct design of the “collector”. then the difference can be made up using traditional supplies. The source of heat remains at a relatively constant temperature all year and can be taken from the ground or from water within the ground (groundwater). average wind speeds of more than 5 m/s are typically required. and so conventional boilers will be required to meet the peak demand for heat. In order to generate worthwhile quantities of electricity. connected to the grid via inverters and synchronizing gear or for DC applications with battery back-up. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) are used to increase the temperature of a circulating fluid from that of the ground-source (around 10 to 20°C) to a more useful output temperature of around 30 to 50°C. either in parallel with mains supplies. Biomass 24 . Wind Power Wind power is used to generate electricity. For plant which is fuelled by waste or biomass the potential is much greater (Smith. with heat being recovered from the exhaust gases and cooling systems CHP operates in parallel with the incoming mains.g. Each kW of electrical capacity provided by CHP plant using fossil fuels has the potential to reduce annual carbon emissions by more than one tone. 2007). Electricity is generated using an engine or a turbine. a loop to gather the available heat by using a refrigerant fluid (or water) in a pipe which is in contact with the ground. under floor heating coils and radiant panels. e. Excess heat can be dumped. 2007). CHP is normally sized a little above summer base load. or more efficiently used to serve the needs of other local users via a district heating network.

The following table. crops or animal dung are harvested and processed to create bio-energy in the form of electricity. steam and solid fuels. gives an indication of the potential benefits of the technologies (Shearer. Biomass is also referred to as ‘bioenergy’ or ‘biofuel’. Anderson 2005). Anderson 2005). Table 4 shows an overview of capital costs. Biomass is carbon-based so when used as fuel it also generates carbon emissions. Offset costs relate to the potential to make savings. running costs. payback time and CO2 saving potential (Shearer. The cost-effectiveness assessment is based on applications for buildings with access to conventional energy supplies from the utilities companies. the carbon that is released during combustion is equivalent to the amount that was absorbed during growth and so the technology is largely carbon-neutral. heat. Local impact relates to the implications of the technology other than on carbon emissions. Biomass products such as trees. However. as is discussed in the following sections of the report for each technology.Energy from biomass is produced by burning organic matter. Aderson 2005): Capital cost Running Payback Lifetime 24 . Costeffectivenes s Medium Low Medium-high Medium Medium Medium-high Carbon savings Solar termal PV CHP GSHP Wind Power Biomass Low-medium Low High Medium Low-medium High Local impact Offset cost Low medium Low Low-medium Low High Medium Low Low-medium Low-medium Low-medium Low Low-medium Table 3: Important of LZC technologies (Shearer. This will be the case for the vast majority of buildings.

Use of rainwater for toilet. Waste reduction and environmental friendly materials can be use in the construction of zero carbon houses: - Timber is a renewable material and carbon neutral. Offer good mechanical properties. With a good design. BowZed or Light House. These factors can not nowadays reach this zero target. the achievement of LZC house are also influenced by other factors. Utilization of proper materials and waste reduction. - 24 . roof angle.… Perfect insulation will help to reduce heat waste. Some examples in UK are Sigma house. Although there are a large variety of LZC technologies. location. Some requirements have to be considered in the design phase: building orientation. the proper materials and insulation and a right use of LZC technologies this target is reachable. Anderson 2005). masonry. Availability of LZC Technologies. store areas.per kW Solar termal PV CHP GSHP Wind Power Biomass Low-medium High Medium Medium Medium-high Medium cost Low Low Low-medium Low Low Low-medium time Low-medium High Medium Low-medium Low-medium Medium CO2 reduction per £ High Medium High High High Medium high Table 4: Cost and CO2 reductions (Shearer. gardening. etc. Eco House. granite. Research in these technologies is a key factor due to the overall low efficiency and long payback of the renewable technologies. A very good example is the building Earthship in Brighton (Hewit 2007) . windows. Tires can be use for support walls. thermal insulation and environmental friendly materials. Glazing and use of recycled bottles for walls. Use of local stones.

the total cost and the carbon reduction will be analyzed. Analysis of a Zero Carbon House: Eco . - - - - About the energy sources to make it a zero carbon house.7 kW A 10 kW wood pellets boiler. About the lighting. This building was insolated to lose 60% less of heat energy than a common house. Mechanical ventilation thanks to the system KAR MVHR® which can recover up to 88% of the heat. It has been the first home qualified as Level 6 in the Code for Sustainable Homes. roof and floor made by TEK© Building system. 4 m2 of solar hot water system to reduce pellets consume during summer. - 24 . It reduced the lost in almost 30%. It was unveiled in Watford in 2007. The windows include a special timber frame and a triple glazed filled with gas that gives a U-value of 0. it was necessary to set up: 46 m2 of PV panels with a capacity of 4. It means this two bedroom house is the first considered carbon neutral. Analyzing this project the feasibility. All the white goods are rated as A++ energy level. which helps to reduce the external air exchange of 1 m3/h/m2 at 50 Pa.Lighthouse The first house zero carbon built in UK was called Lighthouse.11 W/m2K. The specific fan power or the energy efficiency is 0.1 ENERGY PERFORMANCE AND ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGY. Air permeability. the internal lights are 100 % compact fluorescents and the external has PIR sensors. 6. This is an special configuration of urethane and OSB with a thickness of 284 mm that gives a U-value of 0.92 W/l/s.7 W/m2K. To achieve this high insulation level the parts configuration was: - Walls.6. although the house was design for a need of 2kW.

700 kWh – a cut of 90%. Lighthouse around 10% higher than a typical house.000 kWh. and the hot water need of 3. In the summer. The high-quality insulation reduces total heating need from 19. the Lighthouse shows huge reductions in gas demand. Not use in conventional houses. Lightho use kWh/ye ar ELECTRICITY UK average for a typical house of 90 m2 is 750 kWh. the hot water use is covered by a solar hot water system. Typical UK house around 19000 kWh Energy use Comment Lighting 500 Ventilation and heat recovery equipment Other fans and heat distribution system Catering Appliances Total Electricity 200 400 900 2100 4100 1700 4700 ELECTRICITY+GA 8800 Nearer to 24000 kWh S Table 5: energy demand expectation for Lighthouse (Goodall 2008). As might be expected. with two bedroom and a small conservatory. This number in Lighthouse is low for a family that cooks often at home.- Cycle storage and wood pellets storage. All houses need hot water pumps. Looks high for a house of this size. 300 might be a better estimation. is met by a boiler burning pellet wood. Lighthouse is a bit higher than the typical house The house has no gas. 24 . GAS Domestic hot water Space heating Total Gas 3000 The solar thermal panels reduce this from about 4000 in the typical UK home Typical conventional dwelling of this size in UK has a demand of 14000 kWh. In table 5 is shown how this building to carry out with the common needs for a 90 m2. The Lighthouse looks high as it only has common energy efficient bulbs. This heating demand.000 kWh to 1. so all the cooking is via electricity.

an average house of this size might have gas and electricity costs of about £1. if the panels last 25 years it is may be as much as £600 per tone of carbon dioxide. The developer. Because heating demand is provided by wood. At current prices. 6. Roof-mounted solar PV is. To generate these 4100 kWh for electricity appliances. If.65 % 1. in effect.000 without take into account the price of the site. insulation.000 24 . there is no carbon consequence. 2008). In table 6 is described the extra cost of building Lighthouse as an example of zero carbon house: Requirement for Lighthouse 4. instead.87 % Technology Cost in £ PV panels Solar hot water 25. feasibility of zero carbon houses can be asserted. lighting and cooking is necessary 46 m2 of PV panels. it is really unclear why the government is arguing that home generation is the best solution to climate change. carbon neutrality might cost as little as a few hundred pounds (Goodall. waste management and. is around £160. the help of renewable technologies.000 3. estimate that the cost of this wood is about £30 a year (according to the actual pellet market in UK a half tone of wood pellets is around £75).Total heating demand will be met by not much more than half a tone of dry wood a year – equivalent to about a full load of logs in a farmers’ pick-up van. When CO2 is trading on the exchanges at about £17 per tone. the company Potton.000 a year (Goodall 2008). This is the complete fuel bill for the house.2. and a proper passive solar system. according to the developer the firm Potton. a requirement that add around 15% to the cost of a house. but the cost of these panels is very high. ASSESSMENT OF FEASIBILITY AND COST It is controversial the Government’s policy about the on-site power generation. looking at several zero carbon houses built so far. Referring the cost of the panels to the CO2 saved.7 kWh 4 m2 % relative to the total house value 15. Through a good material. The estimated cost of the 90 m2 Lighthouse building. the government allowed house builders to invest in local commercial-scale wind farms instead.

The price and the investment amount to reach this target are enormous.000 3.30% COST OF RENEWABLES Cost of fan. as we can see in some project all around UK. the total CO2 emissions (if the rest of the CO2 emission sources were not changes) would be reduced by almost 25%. the new amortization would be in 11 years.65% 10. ventilator system. 24 . But if PV are not taking into account because is not CO2 profitable. A simple amortization of the investment taking into account the profit in gas and electricity bills would be in 37 years. UK was committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 2012 in 12.000 LIGHTHOUSE Table 6: Estimated cost for Lighthouse (Goodall 2008).000 33. After the Gordon Brown’s speech in December 2006. Conclusions.12% 20.000 17.65 % 31. Obviously the Government framework in Zero Carbon was adopted to reduce the CO2 emissions and to achieve the Kyoto Protocol. The horizon is 2016 and the not well defined zero carbon houses target is becoming more and more popular within the architecture and developer sectors. It means that if all UK dwellings were Zero Carbon by 2016. UK will not achieve this target. Achieving ZCH is it possible. the building sector is been involved under a change system pressure. This is not feasible because the useful life of the renewable devices is 25 years.5 % the level of 1990. In the other hand. 7. CO2 emission represents almost the 25% of the total emissions. These approximations do not include likely variations into the electricity and gas prices. TOTAL INCREMENT TOTAL VALUE OF THE 160. Clearly the stamp duty exemption does not cover the investment of making a home zero carbon.Wood pellet boiler 10 kW 5. If the lifespan of the building is consider 50 years. the actual net profit at year 25 due only to the bill savings would be £13000.000 50.

In the case that these new houses substitute old and low efficiency ones.000 by 2016 300. the number of new zero carbon houses will be:   1. the CO2 emissions will be the same than in 2007.000 26.000 number Table 7: Domestic Sector – number of dwellings.000 300. in the best of the cases.The actual house stock and the forecast for the next fifteen years are: Action Build new Demolish and replace Refurbish 2007 20082011 300.000.000 20162019 550.000.000 1.000 500.000 20202023 550. the reduction in CO2 emissions would be:   1.950.000 2.000 26.000 500.000 by 2012 It means that the CO2 emission reduction due to the Zero Carbon Houses regulation will be: ZERO! If the existing dwelling are not insulated or reformatted to have higher energy efficiency.000 20122015 550.000 25. an alternative to this zero carbon regulation could be to grant works in old and low efficiency dwellings in order to achieve a better insulation. According to this report.000 2.000 Stock 25.000.400. 24 .000 500. assuming all new houses built will be zero carbon houses.(Zero Carbon Britain 2007).000 2.000 25.000.000.850. The effects in the reduction of CO2 emissions would be much higher with the same quantity of government investment.950.3 % by 2012 2 % by 2016 In my opinion.300.

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8W/m²K. In other words. power and appliance power for this element must be generated either in the home or on the development or through other local community arrangements (including district heat and power) and must be renewable (i.e. · The requirement will be that the “Heat Loss Parameter” is no more than 0. Detailed arrangements for the certification process will be · The measure will have effect on and after 1 October 2007. the fabric of the home will be required to reach a very high energy efficiency standard and to be able to provide onsite renewable heat and power.APPENDIX A. The homes will have to reach zero carbon for these factors using the SAP computation. a regulation-making power will be introduced in Finance Bill 2007 to bring in a new time limited relief from SDLT for the vast majority of new zero carbon homes in the UK. · Relief will not be available on second and subsequent sales nor on existing homes. · New homes which are liable to SDLT on the first sale will be eligible to qualify.000 then the SDLT liability will be reduced by £15. Source: Official data from HM Revenue and Customs General description of the measure Operative data Current law and proposed revisions Form of relief Detail of qualifying criteria Fabric of the building standard Heat. To achieve this. · This standard will be measured by use of the Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for the energy rating of dwellings (SAP).000. power generation and appliances Gas main connection New homes 24 . lighting and hot water provision. but the import of grid power and export of renewable power should at least balance over the course of a year. · The aim of the relief is to ensure that on average over the course of a year the homes are zero carbon. SDLT Who is being affected? The relief will benefit most buyers of new zero carbon homes from 1 October 2007. non-fossil fuel) energy. · Legislation for SDLT is in Finance Act 2003. · Qualifying homes will not be permitted to be connected to the gas main.000. · As announced in the 2006 Pre-Budget Report. · There will be a certification process for all new homes and qualification for the exemption which will be dependant on homebuyers having a certificate. This standard will mean that space heating requirements are no more than 15kWh/m² per annum. · The SAP computation takes into account energy consumed through heating. Finance Bill 2007 will contain a regulation-making power to bring a new relief to provide for zero carbon homes. The relief will be time limited for 5 years and will therefore expire on 30 September 2012. · Heat. The balance of the SDLT will be due in the normal way. The relief will provide complete removal of SDLT liabilities for all homes up to a purchase price of £500. · The relief will be available for most new homes when sold for the first time. · Qualifying criteria for the relief will require zero carbon emissions from all energy use in the home over a year. they will not be required to be zero carbon the whole time. These will be defined as dwellings which are first occupied for residential purposes at the time of the transaction which leads to the stamp duty land tax charge. Where the purchase price of the home is in excess of £500.

Investing the same funds in other ways. for example insulating low efficiency dwellings. 6. Anyway. for example. Assuming 2 million of ZCH in 2016 it will need around 25 % of UK biomass. 2. the price of a ZCH is around 30-40 % higher than a regular house. Is the biomass a real neutral carbon energy source? NO. 4. This is much higher than any tax exemption. Sawmill industries require huge energy for cutting and sawing. PV panel’s price increased around 30% due to the huge German feed in tariffs. Biomass is not carbon neutral. Is the government right imposing energy generated on site? 24 . It could be lower if instead of building isolated ZCH. Other example is the price of wood pellets increased around 100% in last two years due to the high demand in Central Europe. In the current situation.50 % of all the biomass available in UK. Is affordable the quantity of accessible biomass in UK to supply all ZCH in 2016? YES. With this ZCH regulation the CO2 emissions due to domestic houses will not be higher and the pressure due to the new construction of new dwellings will be controlled. Is it a reasonable cost measure? NO. As well the pelletization process also requires lots of energy to produce it. 3. Nowadays is using around 0. Will the ZC houses push up property prices outweighing any tax exemption? YES. Usually pellet factories are far from urban areas. Is this new directive a benefit for the environment? YES. Is the tax subvention LZCTechnologies? pushing up the price of YES. Finally the pellet transport is very inefficiency because has low gravity weight.APPENDIX B: PERSONAL POINTS OF VIEW 1. it would reduce much more the CO2 emissions. a group of 150-200 dwellings were built in the same area. Big amount of energy is needed in several industry processes: machinery on the forest consumes lot of fossil fuel for logging. The actual cost of the new technologies is high. take out the bark. 5. 7. the branches.

Beyond excellence. June). synthesis report. E-on Manifesto Retrieved on November 5th 2008 from http://www. The rules of engagement.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/95 3098.gov. Retrieved on November 7th from http://www.pdf Anon (2008. Retrieved on November 7th 2008 from: http://www.tollers. Retrieved on November 5th 2008 from http://www. April).php? file=zerocarbonbritain. Retrieved on October 31st 2008 from: http://www. January) Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. an alternative energy strategy.communities.defra.gov. Retrieved on November 6th from 2008 http://www. June 2008. REFERENCES Anon (2008.eonuk.uk Anon (2007) Climate change 2007.pdf Anon (2008) Stamp duty land tax relief on zero carbon homes. Department for Communities and Local Government.gov. cost and consequences.pdf 24 .com/downloads/Manifesto_Brochure_-_final_30_05_08.communities.uk/news/corporate/towardszero Anon (2008 September)Research to assess the costs and benefits of the government’s proposal to reduce the carbon footprint of new housing development. Supplement to the journal Building. Retrieved on November 7th from 2008 http://www. Anon (2008) Carbon.com/images/process.ipcc. Tollers LLP.zerocarbonbritain.pdf Anon (2006 December 13) Towards a zero carbon future. April 2008.uk/legal-briefings/briefing-253---Stamp-Duty-LandTax-relief-on-ZeroCarbon-Homes. Supplement to the journal Building.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr. IPCC.co. Anon (2008. It would be more profitable and affordable to get the electricity for the grid if it comes from a zero carbon source as wind farms.NO.htm Anon (2007 June) Zero carbon Britain. The latest building codes and regulations in the battle against climate change. Communities and Local Government.

Level 6: Net zero carbon house Fact File. R. Oxford.kingspanlighthouse.pdf Anon (2007) BN26: Stamp duty land tax: relief for zero carbon homes. The lean Economy Connection Goodall. M and Telfer. London. Retrieved on November 10th 2008 from http://www.uk/budget2007/bn26. HIS Bre Press.uk/documents/zero_carbon_blog/csh_techguide_oct0 7. D.pdf Fleming.hmrc. Emerging technologies for low energy buildings.com/pdf/lighthouse. Retrieved on November 16th 2008 from http://www. Oxford. Building a zero carbon future for homes. Tricker.Anon (2007 October) Code for sustainable homes. Glasgow.htm Anon (2008) Lighthouse. (2007) Energy and the common purpose. HM Revenue & Customs. Retrieved on November 10th 2008 from http://www. Architectural Press. Shearer. Smith. P. D. 24 . DCLG. (2007) Sustainability at the cutting Edge. (2008 January) Zero carbon homes may look nice but they aren’t cheap. B. Retrieved on November 6th 2008 from http://www. (2007) Earthships. Kingspan. BRE Press. and Anderson.nher. (2005) Building Regulations in brief. (2005 June) Low and zero carbon technologies in the Scottish Building Standards.co. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. C. Carbon commentary journal. T.carboncommentary.com/2008/01/14/69 Hewit.gov. Technical guide. Berkshire.

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