Energy service and tech company Sero has launched a New Build Specification to support others in the industry to deliver truly net zero in operation homes — for all homes: social housing, privately owned and rented accommodation.
The specification maps out considerations relating to the design and fabric of the home, heating, and the use of renewables and smart energy technologies, to ensure a performance standard that will be truly net zero in operation (in accordance with the UK Green Build Council’s definition), at some point during the 2030s as the energy grid continues to decarbonise.
The publication of Sero’s specification follows the release this week of Welsh Government’s latest Development Quality Requirements, Creating Beautiful Homes and Places, which requires that all newly built social homes in Wales will need to be fossil fuel free and reach the highest energy efficiency standards moving forward.
Welsh Government’s ambition is for private developers to adopt the same approach by 2025. The Sero New Build Specification will help all developers to deliver net zero homes as soon as they are able, and is based around three key principles:
- Zero Carbon homes must include the occupants unregulated (plug-in) emissions and not just heating
- Zero Carbon homes to be planned to converge with the ongoing large-scale grid decarbonisation activities
- Zero Carbon homes have systems that ‘hunt’ low carbon time-of-use energy and offer the grid ‘demand shift’
As well as working with a number of social landlords to deliver zero carbon new homes and to retrofit existing homes, Sero is also working to pave the way within the private sector to help facilitate the delivery of zero carbon homes, including the recent announcement of a JV agreement with Edenstone Homes Group that will see the delivery of 6,000 zero carbon homes by 2030.
Andy Sutton, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Sero explained: “We’re sharing this specification to support the faster and wider adoption of zero carbon new-build construction standards as part of the urgently needed response to the climate emergency. We know that homes built to this performance standard will be truly net zero carbon in operation during the 2030s, although precisely when depends on the individual details of the home and layout. The performance of the homes will be assessed post-construction to prove their net zero credentials and we are developing a digital product to make this as simple as possible.”
James Williams, Managing Director at Sero added: “We really welcome the latest Development Quality Standards that have been published by Welsh Government this week, and the ambition being set out for new social homes, but also the intention for the private sector to follow suit in the near future. The Sero New Build Specification effectively builds on these Welsh Government Standards by mapping out in more detail how the required energy efficiency standards can be achieved in practice, drawing on our own experience and best practice set out by organisations such as the UK Green Building Council.
“Decarbonising our homes and ensuring they are fit for the future is an essential element of helping tackle the climate emergency we see unfolding around us. We all need to be much bolder and challenge the industry to continue to develop innovative technologies and building solutions, as well as the financial solutions needed to enable us to move away from fossil fuels, starting today, and definitely way before 2030.”
You can read the New Build Specification in full by clicking here.
Header image shows Parc Eirin in Tonyrefail, a development Sero is delivering in partnership with Pobl Group and Tirion Homes. The project is the host site for funding from the Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme and UK government funding for domestic Demand Side Response.