High quality research on the issues that affect sustainable housing

The more that real world performance of renewables, insulation and behaviour change is understood, the more we can help residents and communities to reduce their fuel bills, carbon emissions and improve quality of life.

We work with leading UK research institutions to bring specialist insight to some of the most difficult housing problems. We have worked with Oxford University, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BIES) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), along with dozens of major social housing landlords in bespoke research projects. We are currently undertaking an Innovate UK-funded project to develop a tool to harness “big data” to improve decision making on existing and new build homes.

The Review: Safe as Houses

Safe as houses: sustainability of the social housing sector

This report looked at the main sustainability issues in housing and provided evidence that environmental accreditation enhances performance in terms of sustainability and climate action. The social housing sector is undergoing major changes and sustainability has been frequently side-lined – but being sustainable impacts on decisions by investors and sustainable organisations are best placed to provide the safe, sustainable homes that is so desperately needed.

The study found that:

  • Overall the sector is 49% sustainable – the figure describes how close the sector is to meeting science based targets. 100% would indicate that sustainable targets are being met
  • The energy efficiency of homes is at 78% of what is needed to ensure carbon emissions are in line with UK climate change targets
  • Progress has been made by multi-tenure landlords on reducing emissions from their offices and fleet. However these savings are dwarfed by their Scope 3 emissions, which arise from housing stock, business travel, commuting, procurement and third party services. These emissions comprise 99.4% of the total and do not yet show signs of declining
  • The research reveals for the first time that the social housing sector is failing to decouple carbon emissions from financial growth
  • Multi-tenure landlords that have undergone environmental accreditation outperform other tenures in most categories including energy efficiency of homes, sustainable transport and overheating risk.

Damp and mould research

Over the winter 2016/17 we are conducting research in to damp, mould and condensation. By examining the risk factors for… Read more

Touching the Voids

The research examined data from over 500,000 homes, looking at the impact of energy efficient homes on the bottom lines of social landlords.

National Energy Study Two

Building on the findings of the first National Energy Study (NES 1), Sustainable Homes’ second National Energy Study (NES 2) evaluates real energy use from over 520 homes over the period of the 2014/15 winter. The homes were spread across the country. The findings have implications for landlords, asset managers, those commissioning installations of boilers or other energy efficiency measures, energy efficiency advisors, housing staff and those working on fuel poverty.

National Energy Study One – part two

Report PART TWO: Further understanding energy use in the home. Sustainable Homes carried out a major study – the National Energy Study (NES) – involving 500 homes, looking at ways to encourage residents to change energy use behaviours. Fourteen housing associations from across the country took part in the winter of 2013-14.

National Energy Study One – part one

Report PART ONE: The effects of feedback on domestic energy use in the home. Sustainable Homes’ National Energy Study (NES) was a major study involving 500 homes, looking at ways to encourage residents to change energy behaviours. Homes from fourteen housing associations across England took part in the winter of 2013-14.

Get in Touch

We can offer bespoke research to meet your needs and collaborate with others to improve understanding and make practical suggestions for action.

Call us on 0208 9730 429 or email info@sustainablehomes.co.uk