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DEFRA wants better buildings

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is calling for all new houses to meet an EcoHomes &#39very good&#39 or &#39excellent&#39 rating to reduce their impact on the environment.

Its study into the environmental impact of increasing the supply of housing shows that carbon dioxide emissions associated with construction of homes in the year 2015/16 could add up to 5% of emissions currently associated with all industries.

The figure for housing construction waste in 2015/16 could represent nearly 15% of total construction waste to landfill in the year 1999. And projected annual carbon dioxide figures for occupancy of the additional housing numbers at the time equate to 12% of current domestic emissions.

DEFRA says all environmental standards should be improved for new housing developments to reduce their impact. It says there should be a requirement for new homes to meet an EcoHomes &#39very good&#39 or &#39excellent&#39 rating, and that there should be targets for individual impacts.

The report comes after the government&#39s backing of Kate Barker&#39s review of housing supply which says more property is needed to tackle inflationary pressures in the market. Barker says Britain needs up to 140,000 extra new homes each year or faces increasing problems of homelessness and constraints on economic growth.

Kevin Morgan, managing director of Consilium Financial Planning, says: “The Barker recommendations and DEFRA&#39s suggestions should not conflict. There is no reason for not building a house that is environmentally friendly as well as affordable. It shouldn&#39t slow down the process of building these homes.”

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