Leeds Sustainability Institute

Building Fabric Performance



Build Process

New Build

Modern Methods of Construction


Under-Construction Testing

Post-Construction Testing

Forensic Performance Investigation

In-use Energy Consumption

Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Party Wall Bypass

Control Systems



Climate, Environment, Buildings & Energy
Low Carbon Housing Learning Zone

In the UK, as in most industrialised countries, the domestic sector contributes substantially to national energy use and CO2 emissions. Currently, just under 30% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions are attributable to the energy that is used to heat, light and power dwellings. This is a substantial figure given that the UK housing stock is categorised by long physical lifetimes and slow stock turnover. Consequently, any decisions that are made regarding the energy and carbon performance of dwellings built now are likely to remain for future generations. Therefore, if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change and achieve large reductions in national CO2 emissions, then it is highly likely that significant reductions in the carbon emissions from dwellings will be required. So, how do you design, construct and manage dwellings that are capable of achieving very low carbon emissions?

Over the last decade, the Buildings, Energy and Sustainability Group at our University has gained a nationally recognized reputation for undertaking applied and theoretical research and consultancy work in the field of energy efficient housing, and the findings of recent work undertaken by the Group has highlighted that designers, constructors and developers are failing to construct new housing that meets the notional designed energy performance and carbon emission targets. Over the same time period, members of the AECB, the sustainable building association have been involved in designing, constructing and managing low energy and low carbon dwellings. Together, both organisations have a wealth of knowledge and expertise on a range of design and constructional issues that are known to influence the energy and carbon emissions attributable to dwellings.

The aim of this project is to utilise this combined knowledge and expertise to develop a Low Carbon Housing Learning Zone, as an expansion of our University’s existing Virtual Site, that will be of interest to all individuals who are responsible for designing, constructing and managing dwellings; and of particular interest to those committed to developing low carbon solutions, meeting higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes or aiming for the 2016 Zero Carbon Homes target. Although the Low Carbon Housing Learning Zone will concentrate principally on issues related to housing, a number of the resources incorporated within the zone will also be equally applicable to non-domestic buildings. The Learning Zone will contain a wide range of resources that integrate the findings from cutting-edge research, consultancy and the experience of those engaged in the design and construction of low carbon dwellings. It is intended that the Learning Zone will become a nationally recognised resource for information on low carbon dwellings.

Project Partners

AECB – The Association of Environment Conscious Building
CKE – Construction Knowledge Exchange

Project Reports

Johnston, D., Miles-Shenton, D., Bell, M., Reason, L. & Herring, C. (2008) Scoping Report