Helping government make big decisions

Successive governments have pledged to slash UK Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 – and that’s where the home at Nelson Street comes in.

All the data and findings from the house throughout the project will help policy-makers determine the best ways to cut the carbon footprint of existing housing throughout the country.

There are 26 million homes in the UK and their energy use accounts for 27 per cent of total UK emissions. If you include non-domestic building stock that figure rises to 45%. Of the 26 million homes, 75% will still be in use in 2050.

Professor Rajat Gupta

This was a very leaky house before. It is a Victorian end terrace and 30% of the housing stock in the UK is terraced housing.

In the transport sector it is virtually impossible to achieve massive reductions in CO2emissions so building may have to reach 100 per cent and that means the target of 80 per cent by 2050 is expected to be even higher.

We wanted to show through this single house you can actually achieve 85 per cent reductions. The next step is to look at doing this with entire streets; and clearly it’s cheaper for a builder to be doing this to 20 houses rather than just one.

Ultimately we have to decarbonise the grid. If we have on-shore and off-shore wind farms, we have less carbon in the grid. And simultaneously if demand for energy can be massively reduced, we could have carbon neutral housing stock.

Rajat Gupta, Professor of Architecture and Climate Change

Professor Rajat Gupta