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VELUX - Carbon Neutral Homes Project Receives MPs’ Seal Of Approval At House Of Commons Launch

MPs spoke out in favour of the VELUX ModelHome 2020 at its recent launch in the House of Commons, heralding the carbon neutral homes project a ‘hugely significant contribution to truly sustainable housing.’

The VELUX ModelHome 2020 project for the UK will see the design and build of two new semi-detached, carbon neutral properties in Kettering, home to the company’s sales and marketing office. VELUX aims to provide an example of outstanding sustainable homes that are both appealing to the consumer while remaining affordable and easily replicable for the mass house building market.

Unlike other similar low carbon projects, ModelHome 2020 will focus on the needs of the homes’ inhabitants as well as the building performance, striving to achieve a balance between energy efficiency and human comfort, health and wellbeing.

Commenting on the venture, Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, said: "I am delighted that VELUX has chosen the Borough of Kettering to launch its revolutionary new concept for carbon neutral living. Whilst incorporating the highest eco credentials, the project will also be easily transferable into the mass housing market. From the test bed in Kettering, I firmly expect the VELUX concept to be suitable for rolling out across the country and thus make a hugely significant contribution to truly sustainable housing as a permanent feature of future living."

Lindsay Roy MP, representative for Glenrothes and Central Fife, adds: “The VELUX Model Home 2020 project promises to provide an excellent example of sustainable homes which place health, wellbeing and comfort at the heart of their design, while meeting maximum energy efficiency standards. These are homes which will fit well within the future low carbon economy as well as allowing their inhabitants to live sustainable and healthy lives by slightly altering their behaviour but without a need to significantly alter their lifestyles. VELUX’s engagement with communities demonstrates a mature approach to social responsibility and offers these communities a sense of ownership.”

Former Labour Housing Minister, Nick Raynsford MP, who spoke at the ModelHome launch event in the Commons, also expressed his approval of the project’s objectives and ambitions.

Kevin Brennan, Head of Sustainability at VELUX, comments: “The ModelHome 2020 project reflects our belief in the need for industry stakeholders to play an active role in developing prototypes for the UK’s future sustainable buildings and we are pleased to have the support of MPs from the two leading political parties. The venture will prove that it is already possible to build low energy homes that fit in with homeowners’ lifestyles while being affordable and easily replicable for the volume house builder, setting it apart from previous experiments by other firms.

“It is essential for sustainable homes to be both practical and appealing to the consumer if they are to stand the test of time. We will be carrying out post-occupancy monitoring on the Model Homes and we hope the findings will make a significant contribution to refining the requirements for low energy properties going forward.”

VELUX has identified a number of partners who have formed a competence group to ensure the successful delivery of this project by quarter two of 2010. Key partners are: HTA Architects; Willmott Dixon; North Northants Development Company (NNDC) and Kettering Borough Council.

The wider VELUX Model Home 2020 project incorporates plans to build eight one-to-one experiments between 2008 and 2010, in the form of eight demonstration houses in different countries across Europe. The houses will all reflect and respond to three main principles – efficient energy design, high living factor and minimum climate impact – as well as the different climatic, cultural and architectural conditions of the countries in which they are.

The houses in Denmark (Copenhagen, Aarhus) and Austria have already been completed, with the UK, Germany and France on track to follow in 2010. Each house will also have a number of local and regional partners, suppliers, architects, engineers and researchers.

Email: l.marshall@wriglesworth.com


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