Final Report

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The final report that has just been published is now available as a pdf.  This gives a broad overview of the successes (and the few failures) that have happened.  The project has been a massive success and has gained a number of awards and has been certificated to by both EcoHomes and SPEC.  The success of this project will depend on how the new residents gain from an improved internal atmosphere and reduced utilities bills

The report concludes:

If the government is to try to meet the targets that it has set itself by signing up to the Kyoto agreement it has to look to sectors other than just industry to achieve its goals. The current housing stock that exists in the UK is far more wasteful of energy than most industries. Domestic appliances as well as housing has not gone through the same waste and energy minimisation that industry has been actioning over the last 10 years. The fault cannot be laid at the feet of the developers as they are producing the desired product for the lowest cost.

Legislation on housing, both construction and design, currently requires little alteration to the developers plans. Health & Safety issues in the housing market have been addressed strongly by both government legislation and also by outside organisations. Outside organisations have applied pressure for changes in the sustainability of building design and materials yet government seems loathed to apply any more pressure to change.

The Comely Green project has proven that with minimal additional investment, a housing development can be created that reduces both the short term and long term environmental effects. This project did not set out to use any new building techniques, new building materials or a new building design however the result is something that is new. Sustainable building design is common sense, rather than radical rethinking

The influence of this project can be seen in the response of the developer who is now moving towards ISO14001 and also segregates wood waste on all sites to reduce the amount going to landfill. It is hoped that the development is also proof to other developers that sustainable development is not an expensive middle class preserve but a broadly applicable science. The long-term benefit of the project will only be realised by the residents through reduced energy costs and also a better built surrounds.