Support available for green construction in south west

A competition to find the five biggest and most ambitious green building projects - and reward them with invaluable technical support - has opened in the south west of England.

Funded by the South West RDA, Regen SW is looking for housing schemes in the region which could benefit from additional expert advice.

The low carbon housing competition is looking for projects involving the construction of 1,000 homes of more by 2013, with a commitment to be ahead of government sustainability targets and aiming to meet 10% of more of the energy needs from renewable sources.

Winners will receive specialist technical support so that they can plan their developments better, and dramatically reduce their schemes’ carbon footprints.

Tony Norton, head of low carbon development at Regen SW, said: “There is now a consensus in the south west that we want to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings.

“This competition will give the biggest and best schemes the opportunity to help achieve this, so we’re urging local authorities and developers to enter this competition.

“The UK market for on-site renewables could be worth over £2 billion a year, and we want the south west’s renewable energy and construction businesses to get some early learning so that we can secure a large chunk of this national market for the region.”

Tony, who is a specialist in the renewable energy sector, will work with winners to provide advice on how to prepare an energy plan or strategy for a neighbourhood, how to set energy or CO2 standards and targets, and how to draw up terms of reference for energy studies or developers’ briefs.

Local authorities and housing developers who want to express an interest in the competition should fill out a simple application form on the Regen SW website.

The closing date for entries is 21 December 2007.

In the New Year, a short prospectus for each nominated development will be judged by an independent regional selection panel.

Sam Bond

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