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Interim report from the ‘Project 80 Eco Drive’ Future Homes Standard case study

In July 2023, Midland Heart and Birmingham City University published an interim report on Project 80 – a case study into the Future Homes Standard.

The report shows everything from the methodology and construction, to the experience of occupants and the lessons learnt. Click on the button below to see it:

What is Project 80?

The UK has set a legally binding target to bring all its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Construction is a big contributor to this, so the Government will introduce new Building Standards, known as the Future Homes Standard, in 2025.

To understand the Future Homes challenge, Midland Heart have created ‘Project 80’, which is a research and development programme in conjunction with SWM members Birmingham City University (BCU), key product manufacturers and industry bodies, and contractors.

Together, they are developing, monitoring and understanding over 50 homes that meet the Future Homes Standard before 2025. This will generate a significant body of knowledge to enable them to understand what works for them and their residents. Eco Drive is the first development, featuring 12 homes.

“The homes look like traditional new builds, but once you go inside you quickly see the elements which make these buildings so special.”

– Annie Field, policy and practice manager at CIH focusing on critical areas of asset management, including building safety and net-zero carbon

The technology

In order to maximize research benefit, several different specifications were utilised across the homes. Here are some of the key technologies they used:

  • Air-Source Heat Pumps – produce both space heating and hot water (10 homes)
  • Hot Water Heat Pumps – produce hot water and can be used in conjunction with panel heaters for space heating (2 homes)
  • PV/Solar Panels – produce localised electricity for the homes
  • Waste Water Heat Recovery – recovers waste heat from baths and showers and uses that to pre-heat incoming cold feeds (all homes)
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery – extracts air from the properties and utilises waste heat to warm incoming fresh air and reduce heat loss (4 homes)

“The journey to net zero is so complex and difficult that we will never get there unless we collaborate and work together more effectively.”

Mike Leonard, CEO of The Building Alliance and Visiting Professor in Manufacturing and Construction at BCU

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