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New housing in Bath and Northeast Somerset to be all net zero 

Posted on February 21, 2023 by Thomas Firbank Removals
New housing in Bath and Northeast Somerset to be all net zero 

Bath and Northeast Somerset have adopted an energy-based net zero housing policy.   What this entails is that planning permission will only be granted to new developments that generate as much energy as they consume.  Furthermore, the construction materials must also cap their emissions at an acceptable level in order to align with net zero.  Informed by industry-leading initiatives such as the London Energy Transformation Initiative, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, this policy is set to be groundbreaking and lead the way to more sustainable building practices nationwide.  But what exactly is net zero, what is a carbon-neutral home and how can you make your home more energy efficient? This article will look at these different terms in more detail. 

Contents

  1. Carbon emissions and residential areas
  2. Carbon emissions and offsetting
  3. Understanding net zero
  4. Carbon neutral homes 
  5. Retrofitting a home to be carbon neutral 
  6. Save energy with an expert removals and storage team in Bath

Carbon emissions and residential areas

These days, there is so much different terminology in an area we are only just beginning to understand.  Climate change is now a household name and a household concern. As the UK has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by half in the next decade, that includes reductions in residential areas as well as in industry and commerce.  An estimated 20% of global carbon emissions come from residential areas and the construction of houses.  As a result, the building industry will have to change the way it operates in relation to carbon emissions.  New architectural standards are factoring energy efficiency and net zero into their designs and innovation. From cutting edge buildings in London to new housing estates in Bath and Somerset, the whole country will be adapting, and Bath and Somerset are leading the way with this new policy. 

Carbon emissions and offsetting 

Carbon emissions refer to greenhouse gases which cause a rising of the temperature of the planet.  These greenhouse gases are from carbon emissions, from burning fossil fuels like natural oil and gas.  Carbon dioxide is the most harmful of these gases and so lowering the amount of carbon emissions we send into the atmosphere is key to slowing down the current momentum. Capturing carbon is another aspect to the process, or balancing the emissions by planting trees and stewarding natural resources which sequester carbon from the atmosphere.  Offsetting is the process of finding a balance, where you cause carbon emissions, you aim to offset those emissions by balancing it with carbon capturing and balancing processes.  Lowering emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere is the way forward in all sectors. Domestic life, industrial processes, transport and agriculture all need to be places where we can find the happy medium of carbon offsetting. 

Understanding net zero 

Net zero refers to the balance between the greenhouse gases discharged into the atmosphere and those removed.  Net zero refers to all greenhouse gases, not only carbon dioxide, so methane, nitrous oxide and other hydrofluorocarbons  Reaching net zero requires action on a global scale and requires the actions and collaboration of governments and global market leaders. It requires transparency and dedication to commit to decarbonization pathways.  Currently how industry and commerce are held accountable for this is still a process in determination.  While net zero and carbon zero are often used interchangeably, the difference relates to the wider range of emissions that are measured in the scale of balance.  When looking at a domestic household, the emphasis is mainly placed on carbon emissions and finding a carbon-neutral balance or even a carbon-positive way of living.  

Carbon neutral homes 

Limiting your own carbon intensity can reduce your own personal carbon footprint. Recycling, travelling by public transport, and planting trees are all ways to balance your own carbon footprint.  Looking at your own home, you can assess if it is possible to reduce the emissions of your home through your own power usage. Using fossil fuels causes carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere.  By signing up with a renewable energy provider you can offset some of your emissions by leaning more toward electrical appliances.   The term carbon neutral is now applied to homes that are built intentionally to support people who wish to live carbon-neutral lives.  This means the emissions released in the construction of the houses will be offset by the planting strategies and open space built into the surrounding areas and the integrated use of renewable energy.  One successful example of this is Springfield Meadows in Oxfordshire.  While not everyone lives in a purpose-built carbon-neutral home, it is possible to adapt your home to consume fewer resources and by incorporating renewable energy sources into your home.  

Retrofitting a home to be carbon neutral 

It’s not as simple as just fitting some solar panels on your roof, but that could be a great component in the whole transformation.  Improving the energy performance of your home is key to making it more energy efficient.  The more efficient it is, the less carbon you are likely to discharge into the atmosphere as you need less energy to run and heat your home.  Passivhaus is a building model which is followed for many carbon-neutral homes as it leads the way in energy-efficient design.  It involves a building design that has an airtight thermal envelope, maximizes solar gains, and has a specific ventilation system to ensure heat is not lost but air remains fresh. Retrofitting a house to Passivhaus standards is possible, but tricky in some cases.  For example, the aspect of the house is important to be able to take advantage of solar heat and energy. Insulation will be key to the renovation, as insulation will make sure that the thermal envelope of the house can perform efficiently.  The costs of the renovation are generally considered an investment that will be offset against the lower cost of living over time.  Many companies now offer their services in this process, from architects to energy experts and the renovators themselves. 

Save energy with a trusted removals and storage team in Bath

If Bath’s new sustainable housing policy inspires you to settle in this part of the country, or you are moving to a new home in the city, save energy by getting the experts on board.  If you are considering a renovation of your existing property to reduce your emissions and save money down the road, our storage services could be very useful. Thomas Firbank, Master Removers of Bath, serves Bath and Somerset with our five-star standard, just check out our Google reviews. We have self-storage and container storage depending on your needs and a range of vehicles depending on the scope of your move.  If you are coming or going from abroad, let our specialized team handle the red tape and ensure you and your valuable’s safe passage as well as guaranteed peace of mind.  Contact us for a quote or a quick call back and we will be happy to discuss your plans with you.  Save your energy for the move, by getting the Master Removers on board.