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Keepmoat and Birmingham City University explore energy use

Top 10 housebuilder, Keepmoat, has partnered with Birmingham City University’s ‘Centre for Future Homes’ to conduct pivotal energy research.
Keepmoat_ Gedling Green street scene

Last year, Keepmoat became the first housebuilder to deliver the first, large-scale development of new homes, built to the anticipated Future Homes Standard (FHS) for open market sale at Gedling Green.

Now, Keepmoat and researchers from Birmingham City University are joining forces to analyse what the impact of these technologies are and how they’ll influence how people will live in their homes in the future.

Gedling Green is a housing development boasting zero carbon ready two, three and four-bedroom homes and offers the first new homes in the UK built to the anticipated Future Homes Standard (FHS), which were launched for open market sale last year. All the new homes at the development feature air source heat pumps, solar PV panels, increased levels of insulation, EV charging points and smart hot water cylinders, which use AI technology to understand how much hot water people living in the home use on average, to reduce waste.

The team of academics from BCU’s Centre for Future Homes aims to identify how people will live in homes of the future by assessing energy usage in the new FHS properties over a two-year period. The study will discover how, when used to their full potential, Keepmoat’s FHS properties can help homeowners use an estimated 51 percent less energy, compared to the 2013 building regulation standards, and ultimately, enable a significant reduction in energy bills.

The Future Homes Standard building regulations have been introduced by the Government to ensure the future-proofing of new build properties. All new homes built after 2025 will be required to comply with the new standard.

Built using locally produced brick and block and designed to last at least 150 years, Keepmoat’s new Future Homes Standard properties are built to deliver a minimum 75 percent reduction in carbon emissions from previous standards implemented in 2013.

Speaking about the research trial, Trudie McCormick, Technical Development Director at Keepmoat, commented: “The research taking place at Geding Green, in partnership with BCU, is incredibly exciting. The results of the study will reveal for the first time how homeowners will live in the future, showcasing exactly how sustainable technologies and renewable energy solutions will combine to inform how we power our homes in years to come, while demonstrating how we’ll contribute to the UK’s net zero emissions pledge.

“By working with a multitude of partners we will also discover how we can support residents to move away from energy bills to maximise the benefits of their new homes. Encouraging behaviour change and educating the homeowners at Gedling Green on the optimum way of interacting with their home. Learning from this development will help inform future advancements that will one day see the homes drive enough energy from mixed sources to run itself.”

Via its Centre for Future Homes – a primary research facility – the team of academics from BCU assist organisations within the housebuilding sector in exploring robust, scalable and sustainable solutions to modern house building challenges, while helping them measure and improve their building outputs.

Mike Leonard, Visiting Professor from the Centre for Future Homes at BCU, said: “We are delighted to be working with Keepmoat in this groundbreaking research. Our aim is to provide the data and insights which will allow policy makers to make evidenced-based decisions, avoid unintended consequences and learn the lessons that will support the industry to deliver Future Homes Standard at scale. Our research explores the design, construction, commissioning, sales, financing, occupation and maintenance of these net zero ready homes and seeks to put the home occupier at the heart of this critical transition.”

Alongside Birmingham City University, Keepmoat is partnering with a number of organisations on the development including Homes England, Gedling Borough Council and Arcadis. Lloyds Banking Group and Leeds Building Society are working with Keepmoat in a lending capacity to support the project with green mortgage products to help make buying an energy efficient home more affordable.

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