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Carbon neutral experimental home to be built in UK

They will be constructed in Kettering, home of Velux’s UK Sales and Marketing office.

Still in its initial stages, Velux said it was working closely with Kettering Borough Council and NNDC to identify and secure a suitable site to house what is expected to be a pair of three-bedroom and four-bedroom, semi-detached, carbon-neutral homes.

Kevin Brennan, Head of Sustainability at Velux said: "The Model Home 2020 project is part of our wider strategy to take an active part in developing sustainable buildings.

"However, unlike with similar projects and experiments that have already taken place, we have put the consumer at the centre of the process – our aim is to build a UK carbon neutral home that reflects the important balance between energy design and a high living factor.

"The project aims to prove that it is possible to build energy-efficient housing that is both appealing to the consumer and can be easily and affordably replicated by the volume housebuilder – making it accessible for all.

"The homes must have a high livability factor and must not require their occupants to considerably alter their lifestyle in order to maintain the home’s energy efficiency. Instead, we want to prove that you can build carbon neutral homes that people can afford to buy and want to live in."

The wider Velux Model Home 2020 project incorporates plans to build six one-to-one experiments between 2008 to 2010, in the form of six demonstration houses. The houses will all reflect and respond to three main principles – efficient energy design, high living factor and minimum climate impact – as well as the different climatic, cultural and architectural conditions of the countries in which they are built.

The six experiments will be placed at six different locations in five different countries in Europe. The houses will be open to the public for six to 12 months after completion, after which time they will be sold below the market price.

In return, Velux will continue to monitor the experiments with the new residents to learn how the buildings perform in real life conditions.

By 2009, the houses will have been built in Denmark (Copenhagen, Aarhus) and Austria, with the UK, Germany and France following in 2010. Each house will also have a number of local and regional partners, suppliers, architects, engineers and researchers.

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