With greater societal focus on the issue of climate change, the pressure is on governments, businesses and other key decision makers to react and introduce initiatives that will contribute towards a greener planet.
The UK government, for its part, has taken steps to address the impact our lifestyles have on the environment. In June 2019, it passed a law targeting zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means businesses across all sectors will have to come up with pioneering ideas that promote a more eco-friendly world.
There are already several examples of innovations that have proved a success – such as the BedZED development in London – and there are plenty more plans in the pipeline when it comes to housing.
These range from revolutionary, eco-friendly home designs to further government initiatives, such as the one launched by the Housing Secretary in October 2019. So, what does the future of green homes look like in this country?
When it comes to new-build properties, there will be changes introduced to the regulations that encourage a reduced level of carbon emissions and lower bills. The idea is that new technologies utilise renewable and sustainable energy sources while improving heating efficiency and reducing waste. That’s good news both for our planet and the millions now working remotely from home offices, living rooms and kitchens due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Heat pumps are one of the new technologies being introduced as a more eco-friendly way to warm our homes. Rather than burning fossil fuels and emitting harmful greenhouse gases, they work by extracting latent heat from the air, ground or natural sources of water. That is then used to heat an element, which transfers it to a coolant which is compressed until it gains sufficient temperature to heat water in our homes.
There are also new methods of underfloor and wall heating being developed which use the energy from solar panels. The system works by laying conductive copper strips. These strips are then coated in conductive and magnetically dielectric paint before being connected, providing heat to the floor and walls in lieu of radiators.
And, with further technological advances sure to come, Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick has called on everybody to do their part to ensure a greener future for all:
“Building new homes isn’t just about bricks and mortar, I want to ensure everyone – including developers – do their bit to protect the environment and give the next generation beautiful, environmentally friendly homes that local communities can support.”