As the world shifts to more sustainable practises, it’s clear to see which industries have adapted best. Over the past decade, electric vehicle sales have increased from zero to over half a million1. Renewables have gone from 10% to 40% of the UK’s energy mix2. And there has been an exponential growth of organic, local and plant-based products in our shops.
But what about the housebuilding industry?
In terms of the materials, technology and government policies driving the industry, there has been very little progress since the 1960s. Buildings are constructed and operated in much the same way as they were 60 years ago, and this is having a lasting impact on the environment. At present, buildings account for approximately 25% of UK emissions3 The major culprits being gas boilers, high energy appliances, and poor thermal efficiency.
On top of emissions, the housebuilding industry is also grappling with the housing crisis. The UK Government says that 345,000 new homes need to be built every year to make sure everyone has somewhere to live4.
But if we continue to build unsustainably, we are solving one issue by deepening another.
People talk about the housing crisis and climate crisis as separate issues. But in reality, they’re one. A single emergency with an inescapable question at its core: how can we build sustainable housing on a grand scale?
This is the question that sparked the Verto journey a decade ago. And what continues to drive us to this day. Because we believe our Zero Carbon Smart Homes™ are a large part of the answer.
Homes which are radically different to the average new build. Homes which make a real difference in people’s lives. Homes that have a positive impact on the planet.
As well as being passionate about sustainability, we also hold design, technology and wellbeing close to our hearts. This means our homes are a perfect blend of beautiful design, sustainable materials and smart home automation. Each one creating the perfect environment inside, without harming the environment outside.
We are currently building 130 homes across the South West, with many more in the pipeline. And all of our homes are operationally zero carbon – from the moment they’re built, the people who live in them produce zero carbon emissions from their home. We are incredibly proud of our homes, but we know we can do more. We must also tackle carbon emissions produced by the construction of our homes and its supply chain – this we are already rapidly reducing. And use our platform to encourage others to build and live sustainably, so everyone becomes part of the solution.
For us to take the next step, we need councils and planning officers to challenge the sustainability of proposed developments much harder. We need landowners to partner with us. We need policymakers and regulators to drive change right across the industry. Because industry-wide change isn’t just possible. It’s essential.