Designing homes for the 21st century: lessons for low energy design

Download Report (PDF, 8.22mb)

There are many challenges in designing homes fit for the 21st century.

We need homes that achieve zero carbon performance, whilst providing a healthy indoor environment. We also need homes that are resilient to climate change and are not susceptible to overheating for extended periods during the year.

To meet these challenges, this guide argues for an integrated design approach fully informed by the needs of home occupants, and proposes a model for planning new homes in four stages: evaluation, best practice, integration and optimisation. Overall the author advocates a ‘fabric first’ approach, making sure that insulation, air-tightness and ventilation are designed to give the best practical performance before low carbon technologies are applied.

Download the report

Explore NHBC Foundation

NHBC Foundation Research

Delivering high-quality research and guidance to help the house-building industry address the challenges of delivering 21st-century new homes

Learn more

Access NHBC Foundation Publications

Access and download NHBC Foundation’s full portfolio of publications and practical guides, covering primary research, research reviews and documents informing the debate

View all publications

Latest NHBC Foundation News

View the latest NHBC Foundation news, articles and Foundation facts showcasing the most recent publications and reporting on progress with new research projects

NHBC Foundation news