Making housing greener

Making housing greener will take a monumental shift in culture. In this feature for Show House magazine, I explore why the housebuilding industry must deliver…

As the new millennium dawned, an age of good, sometimes exciting, sustainable housing seemed possible, even likely. Now, two decades on, the housebuilding industry is far short of where it needs to be; policies and initiatives that had the potential to be groundbreaking have stalled or been scrapped and the green shoots of optimism have withered. Globally we have reached a state of climate emergency that is already affecting the lives of millions and will profoundly impact the wellbeing of future generations.

But maybe there is hope. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, think and work. There has been a new realisation that health and home matter. Good homes have proved their worth; the not so good have revealed their inadequacies. In future, homebuyers are likely to think more carefully about what they value in a new home and shy away from those that are deficient in design, specification and energy efficiency. 

A point has been reached where the housebuilding industry at all levels has to act and understand that high quality, sustainable development must become the norm. As climate activist Greta Thunberg recently said, the world needs to learn the lessons of coronavirus and treat climate change with similar urgency. The response to the pandemic proves that drastic change can happen. There is an opportunity to mitigate the climate emergency and to alleviate fuel poverty while driving economic activity within the housebuilding sector. Read more ->