John Lewis

Managing director, Modular UK



The role of residential in getting to net zero

As the fourth highest greenhouse gas emitting sector in the UK(1), residential presents a significant opportunity to drive down carbon emissions and achieve net zero by 2050.

Investors want long term, sustainable value out of property, and homeowners and tenants want to reduce their carbon footprint. Consultation on the Future Homes Standard has called for 75-80% reduction on emissions by 2025(2). And there is significant support for a green recovery from the coronavirus(3). Now, more than ever, low carbon homes of all tenures are non-negotiable.

As an industry we need to accelerate change. Since July 2017 AECOM has led the Building 2050 research team, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), a project which reviews different ways of delivering low cost, low carbon homes and monitors their performance in use. In Ireland, our cost managers and landscape architects are delivering, with Metropolitan Workshop, 597 new social and affordable homes built to Passivhaus standard for the Land Development Agency and DĂșn Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council at Shanganagh Castle in Dublin.

The adoption of modern methods of construction as part of housing delivery is also key to meeting net zero targets. AECOM, partnering with architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has developed INNO, an offsite volumetric system that delivers low carbon homes that ultimately reduces running costs by up to 70%, whilst delivering zero construction waste to landfill. Our high quality design creates better living standards and INNO can reduce delivery programmes by 50%, compared to traditional. Right now, we are helping developers and local authorities to rapidly reduce the emissions of their housing stock and deliver the housing we need most. Net zero by 2050? Low carbon homes hold the answer.

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"So much 'bigger picture' learning. Its nice to feel part of a community making a difference."
J Ellicott, Two Rivers Housing