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14 June, 2007 - 12:38 By Staff Reporter

World’s greenest houses unveiled in East of England showcase

Some of the world’s most environmentally friendly houses are being unveiled in the region this week as part of an innovative green showcase co-hosted by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

As the region of the country with the biggest carbon footprint and the fastest growth, the East of England is the ideal venue to stage an event showcasing ways in which cutting edge construction technologies and materials can be employed to deliver higher performance, low carbon buildings.

“We are already having a big impact on the environment to accommodate the way that we are accustomed to living.

“We are also the fastest growing region in the country which means that these impacts will increase unless we take proactive action to build sustainability into new buildings,” said EEDA chairman and lead chair of the Regional Development Agencies on climate change, Richard Ellis.

Offsite 2007 has been featuring some of the most sustainable and innovative near zero-carbon homes in the UK.

The event will feature Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), such as off-site manufactured systems and innovative on-site construction methods, smart technologies involving control systems and sensors for monitoring and whole building communication as well as sustainable technologies using recycled building products and sustainable building materials for construction.

Companies such as Dupont, Hanson, Osborne, Kingspan, ecoTECH and the Energy Saving Trust will be working together to create six houses and a school demonstrating the cutting edge of modern construction.

“The East of England needs to build over 500,000 new homes in the next 15 years in order to meet demand.

“This growth, coupled with climate change impacts, means that designing and building modern, efficient buildings is essential,” said Ellis.

“EEDA is working in partnership with BRE to lead the way in sustainable design, advancing new low carbon technologies and spreading best practice in construction across the English regions.”

The Agency is not just focussed on reducing the impact of new builds, however, and is working toward the improvement of the existing homes of the region’s 5.5m people.

“It is not just the new buildings we need to consider. There are around 2.3 million existing dwellings, many of which are old and inefficient, that need refurbishing,” said Ellis.

“We have put over half a million pounds towards the refurbishment of a Victorian stable block to show that refurbishment can be done in a sustainable way along with an exemplar study to show how to successfully renovate older buildings using traditional materials but in a sustainable way.”


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