Sunday, 2 October 2011

Want a model home? Then look to Kettering

The nation's favourite loft window firm VELUX has chosen Kettering, the home of its UK Sales and Marketing office, as the location to launch its revolutionary new concept for carbon neutral living.
Plans are underway to build two carbon neutral Model Homes in the Northamptonshire town, which VELUX says will not only adhere to the highest of eco credentials but will also be easily transferable into the mass housing market.

Still in its initial stages, VELUX is currently working closely with Kettering Borough Council and North Northants Development Company (NNDC) to identify and secure a suitable site.
Once chosen, the Kettering site will house what is expected to be a pair of semi-detached, carbon neutral Model Homes.
The two homes will be part of the wider Model Home 2020 project which VELUX says is their "vision for constructing climate-neutral buildings with a high living factor".
Model Home 2020: Highlights
  • Model Home 2020 started in 2008 and will run to 2010, and will involve the construction of six demonstration houses in six different European locations.
  • All of the houses will reflect and respond to three main principles: efficient energy design; high living factor; and minimum climate impact.
  • They will also take into consideration the different climatic, cultural and architectural conditions of the countries in which they are built.
  • Once completed, the houses will be open to the public for 6-12 months after completion, before being sold below market value. 
  • In return, VELUX will then monitor them with the new residents to learn how the houses perform in real life conditions.
  • The first demonstration house was completed in April 2009 in Lystrup, close to Denmark's second largest city, Ã…rhus. 
  • The house features strategically placed solar-cell operated roof windows which offer a balanced amount of daylight to the bedrooms and the kitchen-dining room area.
  • The daylight area of the house is twice the size of the daylight area of a conventional low-energy building, and VELUX claims that it produces more energy than it consumes.
Striking a Balance
Kevin Brennan, Head of Sustainability at VELUX Company Ltd, says: "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.
"This is an exciting new project for both VELUX and the Kettering borough. It will not only put Kettering on the map as a leader in energy efficient housing but it will create employment for the local community."

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