Berkeley Homes unveils sustainable housing design concept

Property developer Berkeley Homes has unveiled a new sustainable housing design concept which outperforms traditional terraced housing by reducing up to 25% off utility bills and allowing residents to save up to 83% on gas bills and 30% on water.

Built at Kidbrooke Village in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and under construction on site at Green Park Village in Reading, the new Urban House design utilises modern methods of construction which minimises energy, waste and noise.

The three-story Urban House includes a private roof garden instead of a back garden, allowing it to build twice as many homes on a site. The design incorporates energy efficiency measures which achieve a 19% reduction in carbon emissions, and potential reductions in water usage of up to 30% compared to a new home.

Berkeley Group chairman Tony Pidgley said: “The Urban House has light, space and character. It offers you a home that is flexible, economical and beautifully designed. I think it will help us build the types of home that people love at the kind of densities that could solve the housing crisis.

“It restores a great British tradition of building high density communities that genuinely work as places to live, where neighbours are friends and people look out for each other.”

Carbon-positive goal

Earlier this week, the major housebuilder reported a 20% fall in reservations for new homes, citing the upcoming European Union (EU) referendum and potential Brexit outcome for creating uncertainty in the property sector. Berkeley has also been critical of changes in Government strategy which it describes as a “policy shift against buy-to-let investors”.

Despite these strategical hindrances, the developer has maintained a pledge to lead a new sustainability movement, after recently unveiling a landmark plan to become Britain’s first carbon-positive housebuilder.

Speaking exclusively edie at the time, Berkeley’s sustainability manager Louise Clarke said: “In part, the decision came about because of changes in legislation that occurred over the last couple of years. It’s given us a chance to take a stand and lead within the industry to put environmental sustainability at the forefront of the sector.”

While the political landscape may not be acting as an enabler for Berkeley at the moment – a point recently echoed by construction firm AECOM – signs of a new, business-driven sustainability movement are beginning to emerge across the built environment sector.

An influx of private sector investment could see 8,000 zero-carbon homes introduced in the UK by 2018 – while construction firm Carillion recently announced a £33m profit from sustainability action.

George Ogleby

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