In 2016 all new houses in England and Wales must be zero carbon. To date most work in zero carbon housing has
been carried out on detached family housing typologies. Practice has shown that one of the overriding factors in the
struggle to achieve zero carbon status (Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6) is the projected significant increase in construction
cost. While grant funding can offset some of this increase, further costs savings will be required to allow developers
to deliver affordable homes within reasonable profit margins. One result of this will be a reduction in design
quality; which will impact on the quality of the spaces provided and the robustness and longevity of the construction
and finishes. In order to deliver better design standards, higher density attached family housing models should be considered
to ensure that a proportion of the projected increase in cost of the building fabric can be transferred to the internal
volume of the house, thus achieving better quality living spaces. The following paper reviews the context for future
housing provision in the UK and examines two existing medium density terraced housing developments. The existing
examples reflect two contrasting approaches: one derived from low-energy principles utilising minimum space standards,
the other reflecting the need for high quality spaces but at premium cost. A new medium density terrace model
is proposed that deals with these conflicting demands to demonstrate that it is possible to provide affordable, high quality,
higher density, family housing whilst meeting low energy targets.
Keywords:Zero-carbon, Family-Housing, Urban Housing, Sustainability, Medium-Density.
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