9 February 2017
The Welsh Government has today promised £20m to deliver innovative low carbon models of housing.
Alice Hooker-Stroud, Wales Green Party leader said, “This way of thinking is long overdue. Low carbon housing standards have been progressing in earnest in the EU for the last 30 years, and there is plenty of good practice ready and waiting for us to follow. The Communities Secretary will see loads of great examples from around Europe, as well as Welsh projects. We can pick and choose the very best solutions on offer for Wales.”
In the Vauban area of Freiburg in Germany, for example, they have been building low cost zero carbon family homes for 30 years.
Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party co-deputy leader added “The learning curve is complete, not least with our own Solcer House built by the Cardiff School of Architecture which shows that not only can low carbon housing deliver at social housing costs, but the methodology is good for renovation of older houses too.
“It’s good that the Welsh Government is finally getting on board with the drive to cut emissions and make the running costs of new homes truly affordable, but they must also support businesses and workers in Wales to deliver. These kinds of homes should be the 'norm' for our construction industry. There are plenty of jobs to be made in developing a sustainable building industry in Wales."
“Zero carbon houses make more energy than they can use, and that means rip-off fuel bills will be so last century. It’s good that the Welsh Government is finally getting on board with the drive to cut emissions and make the running costs of new homes truly affordable, but they must stand up to the construction lobby which is particularly change resistant.”
The Wales Green Party recommends Passivhaus building standards (or similar) for all new house building. Passivhaus or 'Passive House' is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world and was developed in Germany in the early 1990s. This standard reduces the heating requirement in a house to the point where a traditional heating system is no longer considered essential. The Passivhaus standard can also be applied to commercial, industrial and public buildings.