The fact that Exeter recently got a mention in The Guardian for its eco-homes development is exciting and a testament to the fact that zero carbon homes are becoming more of a reality.

Oliver Wainwright, a qualified architect and The Guardian’s architecture and design critic, wrote an uplifting piece this weekend all about the ‘UK’s zero-carbon “paradigm shift”’.  Oliver chatted to Exeter City Living’s Managing Director, Emma Osmundsen about the more than 200 council homes that have been built to Passivhaus standard over the past decade.

 Exeter City Council, and since 2018 Exeter City Living, are recognised as pioneers and are now in the seventh generation of low-energy, low carbon house design.  

With 1000 more homes in the pipeline, Emma pointed out that Passivhaus doesn’t need to cost more than conventional construction.  She is quoted in the article as saying ‘It’s a bit like baking a cake: most of the ingredients are the same as a regular house, but you have to follow the recipe in the right order’.  A great analogy to explain the relative simplicity of building to Passivhaus standard.

Exeter City Council was originally driven to develop energy efficient homes to address fuel poverty, wanting tenants to be comfortable and warm in their environments.  

The proof, as the saying goes, is in the pudding, or should that be the cake?  Figures show some remarkable results – 60% of tenants haven’t had to switch the heating on, some in over 12 years! 

Emma said, ’It’s great to be recognised for the work we’re doing, our ambition has always been to create homes that are healthier and more comfortable for the residents, whether that be on the open market, like our upcoming Clifton Hill development, or through Exeter City Council’s housing stock.”