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Solutions to climate change in UK housing developments: a lifestyle approach

Broer, S.; (2012) Solutions to climate change in UK housing developments: a lifestyle approach. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with how sustainable and low carbon living can be enabled in new housing developments in the UK. The consumption of energy and resources is not just related to the insulating qualities of the fabric of the building and the heating, lighting, appliances and ventilation systems that go into the building, but also to the occupancy patterns and activities of future residents over the long-term. Conventional business models for new housing development, operating under current government regulations, policies and targets have failed to develop housing which encourages the adoption of sustainable lifestyles taking whole life consumption into account. This thesis aims to identify alternative ways in which UK housing development can contribute to achieving 80% carbon savings in the UK by 2050. A tool (the Climate Challenge Tool) has been developed allowing whole-life carbon equivalent emissions and costs of various options for new developments to be calculated. These cover technical and soft measures; energy used within the home, energy embodied in the building materials and emissions from transport, food and waste treatment. Applying the tool to a case study development, it was found that carbon reductions can be achieved at much lower costs through an approach, which enables sustainable lifestyles, rather than one that purely focuses on technical measures such as those covered in the building regulations. Furthermore a wider sustainability analysis showed additional social and economic benefits from many of the lifestyles measures. A specific opportunity to incorporate lifestyles measures into new developments was identified: Eco-self-build housing communities. The feasibility of this opportunity was assessed through a stakeholder survey and was judged to be viable. It is concluded that with additional government support or removal of regulatory barriers, eco-self-build communities has the potential to contribute considerably to an 80% emission reduction target.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Solutions to climate change in UK housing developments: a lifestyle approach
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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