Zero-carbon semi-detached homes offered for ‘test drive’

Designing and creating energy-efficient homes that are both environmentally and user-friendly is a challenge that many are tackling, and now Velux, in partnership with architectural firms, are presenting two of them for consumer response in the UK.  On Horse Fair Lane in  Bovis Homes Charter Park Development south of Rothwell, Velux has built two zero-carbon semi-detached homes for occupancy by two lucky families.

Applicants for the free ‘test drive’ must be families of two adults and one or two children, they must have at least some awareness of the eco-friendly lifestyle and be prepared to document their experience for the one-year term of occupancy.  The proposed move-in date is sometime in March 2012.  At the end of the year the homes will be sold on the open market.

The project is part of an ongoing Velux Model Home 2020 experiment that aims to prove to consumers that life in these ‘homes of the future’ is not only eco-friendly but also affordable and comfortable.  It’s also designed to demonstrate for builders and developers that such construction is viable cost-wise, and encourage more of them to follow suit.

Kevin McCloud of the popular home show Grand Designs said that the health benefits of living in such a well built and ecologically advanced home are only one part of the overall experience.  It’s exciting, he said, that the chosen families have a chance to participate in what he believes to be the future of architecture and construction.

The Velux homes are designed with three main principles in mind:  efficient use of renewable energy, minimum negative environmental impact, and high standards of liveability along with low maintenance costs.   Project director Paul Hicks says that Velux has “crammed the houses full of technology. . .” and indeed these models are an encouraging peek at what may soon become a reality for countless homeowners in the UK and around the world.