The Mayor of Winchester Councillor Jane Rutter was among a packed audience who responded with enthusiasm to a talk by guest speakers from HAB Housing on "Building Low Carbon Housing" on 21 February at the Winchester Discovery Centre at a meeting organised by WinACC and Friends of the Earth Winchester. (HAB's presentation is attached, together with notes taken by WinACC of the talk and the subsequent discussion).

Managing Director Mike Roberts and Assistant Development Manager David Eynon explained how HAB Housing designs its homes and communities to be low energy in both construction and use. 

image of Loveden developmentTheir new development at Lovedon Fields in Kings Worthy is an example. Their custom-build model gives purchasers the opportunity to tailor aspects of their home to their wishes, and to also save money by paying less stamp duty. They build energy-efficient houses that have good insulation and air-tightness, to keep warmth in and cold out. Large triple-glazed windows mean there’s no need to have the lights on when the sun is shining. 

By 2020, HAB housing aims to make its developments “net energy positive” – in other words, over a year to produce more energy than the residents use. At Loveden, they are putting solar panels on all suitable roofs. They hope that the electricity from the panels will be bought by an energy company owned by the residents. Their proposed system will store the electricity from the panels in batteries so that it can be used when the sun isn't shining. Home-owners can buy this electricity cheaper than they'd get it from a big energy company, so it will be cheaper as well as greener.  [Update on 21 March 2017: it may not be possible to overcome some of the legal hurdles in time to get this set up at this location though HAB remain optimistic about this approach for future developments. More details.]

“It was a great talk showing that new housing can be good for the environment and commercially successful!” said the Mayor. 

The audience of local residents and professionals were keen for other developers to adopt the ideas from Loveden Fields. WinACC’s Built Environment Action Group will bring the lessons to the attention of others who design and build new homes in Winchester District. 

Notes to Editors:

1. For further information visit winacc.org.uk or call Chris Holloway, Director on 07779 283451 or email press@winacc.org.uk

2. Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) works to cut the carbon footprint of Winchester district.  Its members include local residents, businesses and local government, working together to create a better future.

3. “Connecting Kings Worthy” is a WinACC a project in Kings Worthy to help people reduce energy use, especially at peak times. More at http://winacc.org.uk/SAVE

4. Winchester Action on Climate Change Ltd is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales with company registration no. 08013043. Our registered office is University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR. We are also a registered charity in England and Wales with charity no 1150754 

5. For more on Winchester Friends of the Earth, contact info@winchesterfoe.org.uk or Jemma Barter 07841 864776. 

6. HAB Housing was set up by Kevin McCloud, TV presenter, designer and author to challenge the way volume housing is built in the UK. HAB stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty.

Contacts Mike Roberts <mike@habhousing.co.uk> David Eynondavid.eynon@habhousing.co.uk 07483 002 153 

Mike Roberts has been part of HAB since its foundation, and is a Founder Member of and Ambassador for the UK Green Building Council and Board Member of the Good Homes Alliance. 

Dave Eynon joined the HAB team in summer 2016 following roles as a sustainability consultant and has an MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control and is an Associate of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.