Ecobuild conference puts spotlight on housing

Some of the most influential and outspoken names in the UK housing industry will present their visionary and powerful opinions in the housing themed sessions on Day 1 at Ecobuild. Supported by BRE, the conference covers property issues ranging from the need for high quality volume housing and commercial viability of ultra-low cost and low energy homes, to the challenges of refurb and retrofit.

The programme, being hosted by broadcaster Cathy Newman, embodies state of the art design and construction, leaving no stone unturned to establish what our future housing needs are and what can be done to deliver it. Among speakers giving their forthright, expert – and at times – provocative views include Tony Pidgley, Chairman of Berkeley Group; David Sheridan, Chief Executive of Keepmoat, and Rowan Moore, Architecture Critic for the Observer. All three will provide a unique and inspiring look at what makes good housing.

Professor Phil Jones, Chairman of Architectural Science at Cardiff University, is another of the day’s dynamic speakers. Prof Jones led the team which developed SOLCER, the UK’s first purpose-built, low-cost energy smart house which is capable of exporting more energy to the national electricity grid than it uses. The property was built for a mere £100,000. Prof Jones’ teaching and research activities cover a range of subjects in the field of energy use, environmental design and sustainability in the built environment.

With each session designed to give a glimpse at the future of housebuilding and home creation, Colin Usher, director of John McCall Architects, provides a presentation on “Living for Tomorrow”, in which he offers common sense solutions to low-energy, cost-effective future living. In 2014, John developed a house which runs on a utilities bill of just £15 per year.

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