Press Release - Ecobuild

06 Mar 2009

  • £6m of new research into development of materials and components that will reduce energy and water consumption
  • Three new competitions planned for innovations to cut the environmental impact of buildings, with further investment of £24 million

The development of environmentally friendly buildings is to be accelerated following the announcement today of Technology Strategy Board investment in six innovative new research projects, worth £6 million

The government-funded organisation that has been created to drive technological innovation in the UK will also soon open three more funding competitions to find new technologies that will cut the environmental impact of buildings, investing a further £24 million.

The Technology Strategy Board is investing £3 million to support the six projects and, taking into account contributions from the companies involved, the total value of the new research announced today will be over £6 million.  The new projects include research and development that will create:

-  The next generation of high-efficiency, cost-effective windows;

-  Energy-efficient, low-cost, lightweight building systems;

-  The development of Sitka spruce for sustainable housing;

-  New highly insulated, low-cost, external wall construction systems.

The three new funding competitions, which will open in the summer of 2009, are:

  • "Retrofit for the Future".  Announced by the Prime Minister in January, the competition will invite proposals for suppliers to design and install innovative technology that will improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of the UK's current housing stock.  Companies will be invited to bid for contracts, worth a total of £10 million, to work with social housing providers, refurbishing at least 50 buildings as examples and then evaluating their environmental performance. 
  • "Design and Decision Tools".  This competition, which will involve Technology Strategy Board investment of £4 million, is planned to improve the design of low impact buildings though more effective and usable design and decision tools for use at every stage of the design process.
  • "Monitoring of Demonstrator Buildings".  This competition will enable companies constructing demonstrator buildings to apply for funding to monitor building performance, enabling comparison with predicted performance.  The Technology Strategy Board is set to invest £10 million in the competition.

Richard Miller, who leads the Low Impact Building Innovation Platform at the Technology Strategy Board, said: "The Government has set industry a huge challenge - to reduce net carbon emissions to zero for new houses from 2016, and for new non-domestic buildings by 2019.  To meet that challenge, and to improve the environmental performance of existing buildings, we need innovative designs, products and systems."

Richard Miller added that the drive towards buildings with a lower environmental impact provided UK business with a great commercial opportunity: "The new build market in the UK alone is currently worth about £50 billion a year.  And over 80% of the buildings we will be using in 2050 have already been built.  UK businesses with innovative technologies, whether for new build or to improve the environmental performance of existing buildings, will be well placed to take advantage of the growing global demand for environmentally friendly buildings."

Neil Jefferson, chief executive of the Zero Carbon Hub said, "It is vital that innovative new products and materials are researched and developed in order to deliver zero carbon homes from 2016.  Through these projects and others, the Technology Strategy Board is helping to stimulate the market for highly energy efficient products and setting the bar for the rest of the industry."


Last updated on Monday 21 February 2011 at 15:40

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