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Winning hearts and minds of home owners seen as challenge for industry and government in reducing environmental impact from housing

On the 20 January the NHBC Foundation hosted a debate with leading industry figures from the private sector and the Government to discuss the future of sustainable development as part of the celebration of its five year anniversary.

The debate covered a wide range of issues, but one theme quickly became clear: more needs to be done to convince homeowners that investment in sustainability is both desirable and important. The participants agreed that existing and planned incentives would most probably need to be bolstered with some form of compulsion, as well as much wider engagement with home owners to educate and 'sell' low carbon lifestyles.

The panel speakers, chaired by broadcaster Kirsty Young, comprised; Andrew Stunell OBE, Communities Minister and Hazel Grove MP; Tom Dacey, Group Chief Executive of Southern Housing Group; Paul Morrell OBE, Chief Construction Advisor to the government; and Mark Clare, Group Chief Executive of Barratt Developments. 

Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive of NHBC and Board Member of the NHBC Foundation, summed up the debate by announcing that the NHBC Foundation will be funding further consumer research in the coming year that will address some of the key areas of concern raised during the debate.  He also emphasised the essential role of the NHBC Foundation, and the NHBC itself, in protecting the consumer amidst the rapid changes expected in coming years.

"The NHBC Foundation delivers research and practical guidance that supports housebuilders and contributes to better homes for consumers;" Farookhi commented. "To this end, the NHBC Foundation Advisory Board will be evaluating proposals for further research to understand consumers' current views towards low and zero carbon homes and how attitudes may have changed since 2008 when we last examined these attitudes. As with all our research we will be particularly focused on mitigating any risk from new technologies and new building techniques to ensure low and zero carbon homes perform to a high standard and meet the needs of homeowners."

A video showing highlights of the event will be available at the NHBC Foundation website:


Media contact:
Sarah Hamilton, 07798 694911,

Notes to Editors:
The NHBC Foundation was established by NHBC in partnership with the BRE Trust to facilitate research and development, technology and knowledge sharing, and the capture of industry best practice in the pursuit of improved building standards for the new-build housing sector.

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News Date: 21/01/11