Under the pilot, Croudace will design and build 10 ‘net zero ready’ properties on its site at Willowbrook Park development in Didcot. BRE will then see how the occupants get on with them.
The houses will be designed with a fabric-first approach and fitted with technologies including air source heat pumps and underfloor heating, making them suited to the Future Homes Standard – a proposed standard that will require homes built from 2025 to be future-proofed with higher levels of energy efficiency and low-carbon heating.
If the buyers agree, BRE intends to provide 18 months of post-occupancy evaluation to monitor the buildings’ performance in use, covering factors such as the internal environment, energy consumption and any impact on the residents’ lifestyles.
The build completion is scheduled for September 2022, with BRE’s evaluation to start once legal completion has been approved.
BRE associate director Colin Sinclair said: “The Future Homes Standard is fast approaching and decarbonisation is the biggest challenge facing the house-building industry in a generation. Schemes like the one we are running with Croudace Homes will be paramount to tackling this challenge and building homes that are fit for the future.
“BRE’s expertise and research in the built environment will be essential in the evaluation phase of the project, and we are delighted to be working with Croudace to evaluate a selection of net-zero ready homes – the likes of which could make up the bulk of the UK’s housing stock over the long term.”
Croudace Homes managing director Adrian Watts added: “With the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025, Croudace is committed to building new homes that are future-proofed with low-carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency. Over the next 12 months, this exciting pilot project at Didcot will not only afford us the opportunity to review the success of our designs and specifications, but it will also enable us to work closely with our supply chain to develop the skills required to meet these standards on all future developments.”