Britain Gets Closer to Zero Carbon Housing

The government standard for new buildings is one of the strictest in the world.

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The LivingHomes model house, built in Santa Monica, California, is a zero-energy, zero-carbon, zero-waste, zero-water and zero-emissions residence.

Photo Courtesy of LivingHomes (C.J. Berg/Sunshine Divis)

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The United Kingdom is gearing up for a new housing standard . Starting in 2016, all new buildings must be built to be carbon neutral, according to government guidelines.

As a start to the program, the government has started giving sustainability ratings to homes, one through six, as a way to create awareness about environmental building. They are looking at water conservation, pollution and waste created by the homes, among others, above the mandated standards to determine the most eco-friendly housing.

Concerns have arisen about the viability of meeting the 2016 deadline, the scope of this endeavor—housing in England accounts for 27 percent of its carbon emissions— as well as the affordability of these homes, but this standard has been a hot topic in England

The building rules, which have been set in the last years, are said to be some of the strictest in the world as far as eco-friendly building.

More about eco-friendly initiatives in the United Kingdom

• Natural Home salutes a couple that rebuilt a cob bench to help children see nature's beauty.

• Check out this study from the University of Essex to discover the value of eating local.

• Find out how the Queen went green.