Eco-homes project in Rothwell receives global recognition

Velux's Carbon Light homes in Rothwell
Velux's Carbon Light homes in Rothwell

A pioneering eco-friendly homes initiative in Rothwell has been judged as one of the best projects of its kind in the world at an event millions of miles away.

Velux’s Carbon Light Homes, built in Horse Friar Lane, have been recognised as one of the 100 most suistanable projects in the world at Rio+20 United Nations Conference in Brazil.

As part of Velux’s European-wide Model Home 2020 project, the eco-homes join the likes of Marks & Spencer’s clothes swapping scheme and Renault’s zero carbon factory in Morocco on the inaugural Sustainia100 list, which was launched at the summit.

It recognises projects and individuals that offer sustainable solutions across a variety of sectors, including energy, buildings, education, and transport.

The two carbon neutral houses in the town are designed promote the health and well-being of the occupants, with the inside as healthy as the outside.

This will be achieved by using high levels of natural daylight and ventilation.

Keith Riddle, managing director of Velux, said: “Our Carbon Light Homes project in Rothwell was founded on the principle that one experiment is better than a thousand expert views.

“We are eager to share our findings in order to build on the knowledge base of the housebuilding and construction industry, not just in the UK but globally.

“We want to ensure all new homes are truly sustainable and address the dual challenge of energy efficiency and occupant health.”

“Sustainia100 provides the tools needed to build a better world, incorporating solutions to a range of problems including energy efficiency, from more than 56 countries across six continents.

The innovative three and four bed eco-homes include windows which automatically open or close depending on the weather outside.

Light pours through the windows during the day, meaning that no artificial light is needed.

The homes also possess a self-heating mechanism, using heat from warmer parts of the house like the kitchen and distributing it throughout.

Each of the solutions on the list were assessed by Sustainia, a group of companies and organisations that include Microsoft and UBS, against a range of criteria that included scalability, cost effectiveness, environmental benefit and improved quality of life.

An out-and-out winner from the list will be given the Sustainia Award and it will be presented to one of the solutions at an event in Copenhagen in September and honours outstanding performance within sustainability.

The award winner will be decided by a panel that includes Arnold Schwarzeneggar, the European Commisioner for Climate Change, Connie Hedegaard, and former Director General of the World Health Organisation Gro Harlem Brundtland.