A free tool to tackle the carbon emissions of the UKs existing housing stock, which includes recycled material solutions, has been launched by BRE. The online tool identifies the best low carbon refurbishment options for specific house types. The tool, called T-Zero, asks the user to define the building and give its measurements. Fuel costs and the houses carbon footprint can then be best worked out and a package of measures suggested, which include insulation heating and renewable energy options.
BRE senior consultant and tool developer Jon Mussett explained: Recycled materials have been included in the development stage. This is being used to populate the database. In future we would like to show the life cycle and recyclability of materials with the tool.
The tool also puts users in touch with suppliers and installers and enables them to define budget and site related constraints.
While the Code for Sustainable Homes is for new homes, the standing stock is the problem, we need to do something quickly, Mussett added.
Existing homes are already responsible for 27% of UK carbon emissions and by 2050, 70% of housing stock will be houses that exist today because we have low rates of demolition. The country could have a two tier housing stock.
In developing T-Zero further, BRE wants to create a critical mass of input from householders, builders, installers and suppliers. Once this has been achieved Mussett said they will look at developing information about other sustainable indicators such as issues about waste.
For more information visit: www.tzero.org.uk