Thursday, October 14, 2004

Housing in the UK - towards sustainability

During my literature review, I had found out that housing markets in the UK have undergone major structural change over the last 20 years which includes the shift from public to private housing provision.

In this matter, 80% of new housing has been built to satisfied the private individuals and only the other 20% goes to housing association, with the figure being confirmed by CIRIA in their Special Publication 139. Proportion of owner-occupied housing has also risen to nearly 70% of all housing, followed by the change in household formation pattern along with the demographic transformation such as a growing number of single parents, elderly, and disabled people required special need housing.

Environmental awareness has also play an important role in the last 20years. There is an increasing need to reduce the pollution and to limit the waste in production through recycling. This followed by the need for longevity of housing because of the ageing housing stock and low replacement rate.

CIRIA also stated that new demands for low energy housing may means that the use of seemingly robust technologies such as bricks could be stretched beyond their physical limits in terms of embodied energy, buildability, and thermal performance in use. An increasing number of housing project involve the need to innovate, unfortunately, as stated in IPRA (1992), UK house builders invest almost nothing in research and development!

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