The contractor subsequently accessed discounts through bulk purchasing, e.g. Danish timber doors. Westlea’s Design Brief and Specification for all schemes is continually evolving and will incorporate environmental improvement in accordance with Eco Homes in the future. However, as many of its development projects use different construction techniques, bespoke solutions may still be needed. Westlea have trained staff to become in-house assessors, and will aim to achieve a ‘good’ Eco Homes rating on all schemes in the future. Eco Homes calculates the amount of carbon generated in the home using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for space heating and hot water, plus that generated from lights and appliances.

The assessment is carried out against the operational requirements of the home, and not the actual energy consumption. Homes using gas will therefore perform better than those using other fuel sources, especially electricity. The Housing Corporation requires associations to measure the energy efficiency of new buildings using the Carbon Index. In complying with this requirement housing association properties will achieve a high level of energy credits through Eco Homes. To score these credits and determine potential carbon reductions, an assessor carries out a simple set of calculations based on SAP information. Additional information needs to be provided on the number and type of light fittings to calculate the affect of lighting.

If site specific credits are included, costs could be reduced by £1200 per unit. Therefore associations should be able to improve the environmental performance of homes within the Total Cost Indicator framework, especially if working with an EcoHomes assessor from the outset. web design agency The Eco Homes Club was set up with ten associations that were committed to using Eco Homes for the first time.

It is worth noting that the calculations for a scheme are based on worst house types and then averaged across a scheme. This can have a significant impact on schemes with a mixture of house types and energy innovation. Additional information will need to be provided to the assessor if renewable energy or combined heat and power systems are used. Although such approaches access additional credits, the heating, lighting and insulation basics need to be considered first. Maximum credits can be achieved for carbon neutral homes.