A sustainable future for social housing

With the much publicised shortage of affordable housing and the negative connotations often associated with new build properties (primarily around build quality, longevity and lack of space) it is clear that a new approach to address these issues in an integrated and simple way is desperately needed. Add to this the fact that home energy use is responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions, and it is no surprise that another of today’s biggest priorities in house-building is on reducing this demand.

So is it possible to achieve this holy grail of addressing usability, affordability and sustainability in one future-proofed solution, while offering long-term value vs. traditional builds? It is according to Wienerberger, the leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping innovations, which has created the Wienerberger e4 brick house™ to do just that.

What is the Wienerberger e4 brick house™?

Designed in conjunction with global engineering and design consultancy, ARUP, the Wienerberger e4 brick house™ focuses on the four pillars of Wienerberger’s global e4 concept – energy, economy, environment and emotion. 

  • Economy: To provide a house that is financially affordable and accessible and to give optimum build performance while meeting market demand (10+ units show savings when compared to standard three bed detached houses, achieved through Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Common Data Environment (CDE)).
  • Energy: To provide a house that meets current energy standards and will continue to offer a sustainable environment for its 150+ years’ life (the fabric first approach used offers an increased daylight ratio reducing lighting needs, and all key elements meet A or A+ Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) ratings).
  • Environment: To provide a house that is responsibly sourced and has minimal environmental impact (all e4 houses have an A+ Green Guide rating, are 80% responsibly sourced and have achieved 95% water reduction throughout the construction process).
  • Emotion: To provide a house that people will want to live in; a house that provides flexibility and practicality but will also allow for a higher quality of living (including adaptable living space, increased light and space, and removal from fuel poverty for vulnerable tenants).

The e4 concept utilises a fabric first approach using a clay building envelope to deliver a house with reduced energy needs, meaning lower running costs and enhanced thermal benefits for the home owner.

When the performance credentials are combined with the fast build time (the three bedroom detached model can be built within eight weeks), low maintenance requirements, long life of the property and economical build cost, the Wienerberger e4 brick house™, led by Wienerberger’s newly formed social housing team, really could be an answer to the need for higher quality, affordable, sustainable housing in the UK.

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