Zero Carbon House Puts Green Future In Final For National Award

February  2013

Green Future NI Ltd is paving its way to success after news it has been shortlisted as a finalist for a national award. Green Future NI has been  shortlisted for the 'Sustainable Development of the Year' award at this year's Housing Awards following the completion of Northern Ireland's first accredited zero carbon house.

The house, which was officially opened in March 2012 by the Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, showcases a pioneering blueprint build which demonstrates how affordable and accessible it is to build an energy saving zero carbon house.

A spokesman for the company said energy bills for the detached five bedroom bungalow, costs approximately £300 per year, in spite of being over 3,100sq ft.

He continued: "We have been shortlisted because the house ticks every box on the sustainable development criteria through our innovative construction and design techniques. The bungalow is in a rural location, has triple glazed PVC windows, a 4kw inline heater battery, an external wood pellet boiler which has 97 per cent efficiency, solar water heating, an alternative energy supply in the form of solar PV installation, its own waste water treatment plant and LED lighting.

"Green Future NI has created the innovative ‘Green Future House’, which not only meets the Government’s required transition to mass construction of new ‘zero carbon homes’ by 2016 but this house exceeds the Government's targets."

The creation of the house follows the announcement by The Department of Social Development (DSD), in its Regional Development Strategy 2035, that, as a result of increasing population and a trend towards ever smaller households, 11,000 new houses need to be built every year in Northern Ireland. 

With all new homes to be built as zero carbon by 2016 in Northern Ireland under current government legislation, and with councils accountable for meeting carbon reduction targets under the EU Directive, Green Future NI has successfully addressed the major challenge of how to build energy efficient homes at low costs ahead of its legislative introduction in four years time.

The company spokesman added: "The Green Future House’ addresses critical questions around affordable, energy efficient homes for social housing associations, the government, developers and homeowners. We will be working closely with all relevant organisations to ensure targets are met.

"The need for the industry to unlock the key to creating low-cost, volume zero carbon housing is now more vital than ever and at Green Future NI, we have the answer."

The company collaborated with Invest NI and Ulster University which carried out thermal performance testing on the Green Future House. Statistics revealed that the house is 77 per cent more energy efficient than traditional houses, providing huge saving on fuel bills.

This house is also the first in the province to be awarded five years no council rates under the now defunct Low Carbon and Zero Carbon Homes Scheme. Green Future NI is lobbying for reintroduction of this incentive scheme.

Green Energy Technology, in conjunction with Energy Control Ireland, carried out a full assessment of the home, at the planning stage from the architects drawings and specifications.

The Housing Awards, which will take place in Belfast's City Hall on February 28, are presented by the Chartered Institute of Housing in Northern Ireland, the professional body for all those working in housing, across both private and social housing sectors.

CIH NI has received the highest number of nominations ever in the four year history of the Awards.

Sid McDowell, chairman of the judging panel said:

“This year's Awards confirm that right across the housing community including public, housing association, private, voluntary and community sectors (and nominations were received from all) we are all, in partnership, helping to make a huge difference to the quality of life of communities in Northern Ireland. On the basis of these awards we have indeed much to celebrate."