In the UK and throughout much of Western Europe, housing alone generates more than a quarter of all CO2 emissions. So builders and architects in Chichester are embracing new technology to make houses both greener and more attractive to buyers.
Watch this short video clip and answer the questions below.
1 How many sustainable homes will be built?
2 Where do the homes get hot water from?
3 What was Graylingwell originally?
4 What are the economic benefits for homeowners?
These sustainable homes may not look so different but the carefully selected systems and appliances combine to minimize emissions. (1) Over 800 will be built in and around the solid red brick buildings of an abandoned hospital. Developers Linden Homes work with social housing providers Affinity Sutton and the UK Homes and Communities Agency.
The site’s CO2 saving secret is that every home gets hot water fed (2) from the landmark tower in the middle. Emissions are minimized in each home and further offset around the entire development.
We try to tailor it so that, um, so that the technology we use – it is a direct benefit and it’s not something which is purely, um, giving us that zero carbon credential but not necessarily something that the customer would notice or…or be a direct reason to buy a property here at Graylingwell. (3) This site was originally a hospital. So that, this is the original water tower that supplied the-the water to the hospital. Uh, we’ve now utilized it as the-the chimneys for the, uh, energy center.
Well I’ve come right into the energy center and this is the old idea of district heating brought up to date. And this is…all people will have in their homes. It runs on hot water, where you control your central heating and hot water for your baths and taps. It’s powered by these vast boilers, I mean, like you’d have in your home only very much bigger. The hot water runs through these pipes and pumps here to this accumulator tank. Uh, there’s room for even more of these and more plant here which, eventually, will allow this entire area to generate electricity which can be sent back to the grid.
And (4) homeowners get lower monthly bills. The house holds its heat extremely well so there’s not much concern to have the central heating on and the hot water supply is consistent at a safe temperature and a good pressure, too.
Until now it’s all regulation which has forced most of the climate saving measures but sites like this show that eco-friendly homes be cost effective.
Nigel Cassidy, BBC News on Britain’s South Coast.