Canary Wharf Group adopts CHP

At 40 acres, the Royal Wharf is the largest new Docklands neighbourhood since Canary Wharf was built in the 1980s and the development will include 3,385 modern homes and businesses.

Due to begin operating in August, the new 1MWe CHP unit, operated by Veolia, will reduce NOx emissions to 95/nm3 and carbon emissions by 1,800 tonnes each year – equivalent to removing 1,400 cars from the road.

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Housebuilders must do better on quality say MPs

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Excellence in the Built Environment chaired by Oliver Coleville MP published its report ‘More homes, fewer complaints’ on 13 July, 2016 after an inquiry that took evidence from housebuilders, insurers, consumer groups, and homebuyers.

The inquiry was begun at the end of 2015 in the wake of the UK government’s commitment to build 200,000 new homes a year during the current Parliament – equivalent to a million homes by 2020 – at a time when customer satisfaction is falling and complaints about poor quality of new homes is on the rise. This has increasingly resulted in dissatisfied homebuyers seeking recourse from Local Authorities because the defects are not covered in warranties.

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A question of quality

But clearly notions of quality in the context of new housing are more clear-cut than one's choice of confectionery; no homebuyer is going to be happy that their newly built house has ill-fitting doors or a faulty roof that starts leaking six months into their purchase. Yet these are examples of complaints that Oliver Coleville MP has received from constituents who have bought newbuilds.

Coleville is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Excellence in the Built Environment, which this month published its report ‘More homes, fewer complaints’ in the wake of an inquiry that took evidence from housebuilders, insurers, consumer groups, and homebuyers.

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Custom build: the answer to delighting the customer?

Earlier this month HAB Housing’s Lovedon Fields project was shortlisted for the Build It awards in the Best Custom Build Project or Model category.

According to HAB, homebuyers are able to personalise their home in a number of ways, from opting for ‘upside down’ room arrangements and annexes that cater for changing family needs, to a sound proofed-room to contain a home-based physiotherapy business.

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An Urban House for an urban village

Back in June, Berkeley Group unveiled a new customisable home design called Urban House. At a time when demand for family homes in London typically sees 13 prospective buyers for every available house, the three or four-bedroom design aims to provide homebuyers with an adaptable home; the ground floor, could, for example, can be converted into separate accommodation.

“It can be adapted to meet people's needs as their lives change, whether that's caring for an elderly relative or downsizing once the kids have flown the nest,” said Karl Whiteman, Divisional Managing Director at Berkeley Homes. “And that stability means you can form long-term friendships in the neighbourhood and really feel a part of your community," he added.

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UK-GBC Task Group Report: Health and Wellbeing in Homes

Our home, both the location and the physical building itself, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, to how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. If we want to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, there can hardly be a more important place to start than the home: it is where most people spend most of their life.

This report is about beginning a concerted effort to shift the market towards a focus on the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the homes we build and retrofit. It is aimed at all those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, and is focused on general needs homes in the UK housing sector.

Read the report here