Meet the house of the future. Barratt Homes’ green and sustainable zero-carbon home

Rebecca Mundie | 30/06/2022

Back in 2020, Barratt Developments announced that by 2030 all their new builds will be zero-carbon homes – and the Zed House, their flagship concept house, is their first step in achieving that.

At a Glance

What does the future of housing look like?

Barratt Homes has given us the answer.

Barratt Homes have built the first zero-carbon home in the UK to go beyond the Future Homes Standard, delivering an improvement of over 125%. Built with sustainable technology to create and use its own clean energy, the Zed House is, without doubt, the house of the future.

The Zed House is Barratt’s ‘real world’ experiment, built on the University of Salford’s campus. Integrating new smart technology like electric car chargers, solar panels and an air-source heat pump, Barratt’s zero-carbon home also uses simple and traditional green tricks like water butts and hedgehog highways to support the local wildlife.

Back in 2020, Barratt Developments announced that by 2030 all their new builds will be zero-carbon homes – and the Zed House, their flagship concept house, is their first step in achieving that.

What is a zero-carbon home?

Zero carbon means that no carbon emissions are being produced from a product or service. To have a zero-carbon home is to live without fossil fuels and, instead, produce and rely on cleaner energy sources.

Such sources include solar panels to generate power, batteries to store that power and smart technology solutions like air-powered showers and regulated temperatures to rapidly reduce waste. It’s the future of sustainable living.

Barratt’s Zed House is the first of many future zero-carbon homes. But what exactly does it offer?

Barratt Zed House

40 industry partners helped with Barratt’s build and made the zero-carbon home possible, including the University of Salford, GTC, British Gypsum, Octopus, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

David Thomas, Chief Executive of Barratt Developments, said: “Ultimately, the aim is to find solutions to enable the industry to build high-quality, zero-carbon homes... We can then share this knowledge to help the industry deliver the future of sustainable housing.” This is done through the incredible research at Energy House Labs.

The university’s Energy House Labs monitor this experiment and have fitted the new build with hundreds of sensors which they use to record data for their ever-growing and ever-important research into sustainable living.

Energy House Labs help businesses understand how effective their products are in reducing energy bills and consumers’ carbon footprint, all through their commercial and grant-funded research. Their tests on the Zed House account for the performance of the building’s structure, from the likes of insulation, waste and human factors, to see how effectively homelife and smart technology can co-exist to ultimately make greener living simpler, more accessible and, soon, the norm. This norm is closer than we think, with the recent Part S regulation ensuring all new builds have an EV charger installed, and Energy House Labs researching the impact of green technology on older properties, too, for a smoother transition and wider availability to sustainable living for all.

What does the house of the future look like?

Barratt Homes’ Zed House uses the most modern sustainable housing technology such as an air source heat pump, electric car charging points, PV solar panels and battery storage.

Zed House’s other greener living and cutting-edge smart technologies include:

  • Water butt for water collection and storage

  • Regulated heating and water to reduce waste

  • Fridge which keeps the right humidity resulting in 60% less food wastage

  • Air-powered shower and electronic taps that can reduce water usage by 80%

  • 100% recycled chipboard for kitchen cabinets

  • Heated skirting boards which deliver 10% more heat than traditional radiators

  • Data-capturing app that remembers individuals’ temperature preferences

  • Electricity tariff that automatically shifts energy usage to access the cheapest rates

Wildlife-friendly garden

Green is good, which is why Barratt Homes and Salford Uni see the benefits of supporting nature. The Zed House has a biodiverse and wildlife-friendly garden, achieving a gold rating from the RSPB.

The biodiverse garden includes:

  • Green wall to increase the surface area of planting, purify the air, and reduce ambient noise and temperature

  • Rain pond to care for local wildlife and naturally collect water, reducing the area of grass and plants needing to be watered

  • Bat and swell bird nests to support their conservation and reduce the number of insects damaging plants

  • Composting, perfect to reduce food and garden waste (which make up more than 30% of what we throw away) and benefits the soil

  • Hedgehog highway to support their conservation, providing a route to shelter, food, and nesting materials

  • These are just a few of the many ways how to create a wildlife-friendly garden. The National Trust have even more tips.

The future of housing

With the combined forces of Barratt Homes’ Zed House and Salford’s incredible research from their Energy House Labs, they have truly built the house of the future in their zero-carbon home.

The incredible Zed House reveals that the future is closer than we thought – and that cleaner, greener energy is completely achievable for all.

Like Barratts and Energy House Labs, we’re on a mission to crack clean energy.

Take your first or next steps towards the future and your own zero-carbon home, with electric car charging, solar panels, or battery storage.

We’re just a short click away to answer any queries. Get in touch with us.

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© 2022 Egg - All Rights Reserved; A Liberty Global plc company. Registered address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, W6 8BS. Company number: 07477370; VAT number: GB109695779. In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)