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Are Eco Homes the Answer to the United Kingdom's Housing and Climate

Briefing Paper

It is widely accepted that there is a lack of affordable housing in the United Kingdom. It has been stated that United Kingdom house price rises for 2014 are almost twice as high as predicted (Guardian, 2014). First time buyers are struggling to get onto the property market in cities throughout the United Kingdom where nine out of ten houses are too expensive for locals (Robinson, 2014). An eco home can be defined as a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition (Plainiotis, 2006).

As climate change occurs and as we run out of natural resources it will become more important for us to move to a zero carbon lifestyle (Purcell, 2009). The government has announced that it wants all new homes in England to be zero-carbon by 2016. Carbon dioxide emissions from the houses alone in the United Kingdom have risen by more than 5% since 1997 and account for 27% of the United Kingdom’s carbon footprint (Osmani, 2009). As the effects of climate change worsen I predict there will be an increase in the number of eco villages being built within the United Kingdom and therefore the building of Zero Carbon communities such as the one which is planned for Bickleigh Down is a step in the right direction.

In this briefing paper Anna Waite argues that eco homes are the answer to the United Kingdom's housing and climate change issues.


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