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The Fortnight

UK's zero carbon house plan

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Jul 15, 2007 | From the print edition

Uk's plan to create eco-towns across the country could soon be a dream-come-true. Housing minister Yvette Cooper has recently unveiled the country's first zero-carbon house and awarded a stamp duty exemption certificate to the prototype. The lighthouse is the most environmentally-friendly home yet built and the first to meet the highest standards laid out in the government's code for sustainable houses.

Builders have followed energy-efficient construction methods to build this two-bedroom house, and have used highly insulating and airtight fabric that can provide ample amount of daylight to reduce artificial light demand. There are solar panels and water-efficiency devices installed in the building to heat water and reduce wastage of water.

The prototype carbon-neutral property is part of the government's initiative to set up eco-towns across the country, with 20,000 such houses. The government plans to make all new homes carbon neutral by 2016, and has set a tough target for housebuilders in terms of design, delivery and affordability. In December 2006, it introduced a code in this connection, as per which, properties will be awarded a rating of one to six stars; those with maximum score will qualify for stamp-duty exemption for being zero carbon.

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