Z House a model of net zero living

Barrett Developments has created a zero carbon concept home that showcases the future of sustainable living in the UK. Built on University of Salford’s main campus, Z House is the first home in the country to be built by a major housebuilder that goes substantially beyond the Future Homes Standard.

The home will test and monitor the most modern, sustainable housing technology such as an air source heat pump, infrared panels, plaster that eliminates pollutants, a fridge that keeps food fresh for longer, heated skirting boards, air-powered showers, electric vehicle charging points, PV solar panels and battery storage.

There will also be a dedicated knowledge and energy hub built into the garage space to display and showcase products and technologies used within the Z House. Here, visitors to the house will be able to monitor digital displays showing visuals of live energy use via a monitoring network, which is built into the fabric of the home.

Supply chain partners are providing cutting edge products for the house to reduce its embodied carbon. These include electronic taps that can reduce water usage by 80%, kitchen cabinets made using 100% recycled chipboard plus reused coconut husk material for the handles, and a smart electricity tariff which automatically shifts energy usage to access the cheapest rates.

Set on the main campus at the University of Salford, the new Z House is based on the Barratt ‘Alderney’ housetype. To ensure the house operates in the ‘real-world’ it will be occupied by an academic from the University of Salford, meaning its energy consumption can be measured and displayed in the Knowledge Hub for all to see.

Constructed using the latest building methods incorporating Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), the new home is being built with over 40 leading industry partners from across the housebuilding, sustainability and technology sectors. Together, they will help to broaden knowledge in zero carbon living, with the lessons learnt from the construction being shared across the industry. Partners include the University of Salford, GTC, British Gypsum, Octopus, Nissan and Mitsubishi, plus a host of other suppliers.

Last year Barratt announced that all of its new homes will be zero carbon from 2030 and this flagship concept house is the first step in achieving that.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We want to showcase what can be done to deliver zero carbon living using the latest technologies and working with the best industry partners. Ultimately, the aim is to find solutions to enable the industry to build high quality, zero carbon homes that customers love, at scale. We can then share this knowledge to help the industry deliver the future of sustainable housing.”

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