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Miller Homes launches first carbon zero home

11th September 2009 Print
The dream of leading an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is a step closer to reality with the completion and official launch for sale of the first carbon zero home to be built by a volume housebuilder on a live development.

The 'Miller Zero' initiative at The Pinnacle, in Merton Rise, Basingstoke, is a range of eco-friendly properties constructed by the UK’s sixth largest housebuilder, Miller Homes. The home designs have been significantly enhanced to comply with the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes, a national standard to reduce carbon emissions and create more sustainable homes.

Each of the five homes has been built to meet a different level of the Code (1, 3, 4, 5 & 6) by incorporating new technologies and techniques to reduce water consumption, energy use, C02 emissions, waste and pollution.

Tim Hough, chief executive of Miller Homes, explains: "UK homes account for 27% of the nation’s carbon emissions and the Government has recognised this by making Code 6 (carbon zero) mandatory for all new build properties by 2016."

"The housebuilding industry has a responsibility but also an opportunity to help reduce our carbon footprint. Rather than just waiting until we had to implement the Code, we decided to get a head start on understanding the cost implications alongside learning how to possibly build the homes of the future with Miller Zero.

"The resulting properties provide an insight into what will become conventional living in the coming decades as well as acting as a blueprint for 21st Century homes across the UK.”

Equipped with a full range of renewable and sustainable technologies, the four-bedroom homes of the future are on sale today. Buyers will be able to improve their ‘green’ credentials whilst also benefiting from the associated reduced running costs from living in a carbon zero home.

Each of the homes has different key water, energy and carbon reducing features including:

• Triple glazed windows
• Underfloor heating
• Rainwater harvesting
• Biomass boiler
• Photovoltaic solar panels
• Ground source heat pump

The homes have also been built to cater for the changing needs of their occupants, fulfilling the Government’s Lifetime Homes policy, which will be made a compulsory guideline for housebuilders from 2013.

Hough continues: "Meeting the requirements of the Code, particularly levels 5 and 6 is a huge challenge, financially and technically. It has given us an excellent understanding of the additional costs, demands and issues that housebuilders, suppliers and contractors will face.

"Miller Zero has shown that zero carbon is achievable within an active site. The next challenge is to incorporate these learnings feasibly into the every day construction of homes on a large scale."

The properties will be monitored using Smart Metering* as well as sensors to monitor humidity for a period of 12 months after completion. This will give a true picture of the impact a ‘zero carbon’ home has on homeowners as well as being able to better understand attitudes to sustainability features.

The Miller Zero four bedroom homes range in price from £305,950 to £339,950 depending on the number of sustainable features included.

For more information about the homes at The Pinnacle development, visit

* The smart meter takes remote multiple, accurate readings of electricity and gas usage throughout the day (electricity usage is recorded every half hour and gas on a daily basis) and then sends an accurate reading everyday via a communication link. This is a new type of digital meter which incorporates a SIM card to send information on energy use direct to the supplier (in this case, First:Utility). The system cuts out the need for energy suppliers to visit homes and read meters and enables an accurate bill based on actual usage to be sent for payment at the end of each month.The data is converted into usage information – units of energy and price, and carbon dioxide emissions – and made available via an online account allowing the user to view their bill and usage at anytime.