Informing the Debate

The challenge of shape and form: understanding the benefits of efficient design

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The challenge of shape and form in house building

The energy and carbon requirements of Building Regulations do not explicitly give credit for housing designs with lower heat loss areas or more efficient shapes. Yet through a better understanding of these issues, designers and developers can significantly reduce the energy consumption of new homes, potentially at little or no extra cost. This report explains the issues, and discusses ways that designs can be improved.

The pursuit of lower energy consumption through more efficient shape and form need not have to lead to bland or monotonous housing designs. The report discusses how the most inefficient design features can often be avoided or replaced by alternatives which are still architecturally interesting. Many designs can provide better comfort conditions for the residents as well.

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