Plucky Norwich Council Bridges The Energy-Affordability Divide

bird's eye view of Norwich, where energy efficient affordable housing is being built
Norwich Colin Colin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Norwich City is building a reputation as a leader in affordable, energy efficient housing.

One of the arguments levelled against energy efficiency in affordable housing is the increased cost of construction. Savings realized through lower energy bills in the long term require higher construction costs up front. However, it seems there’s been a breakthrough on this insoluble challenge in different corners of the globe.1 Today’s is about a social housing project in Norwich England.

However, it seems there could be a breakthrough.

The Goldsmith Street project’s energy efficiency meets the international passivhaus standard. Tenants pay no more than £150 annually ($242 CDN/$182 USD) for heating and cooling and their rent is geared to income.

Norwich Council is the landlord. In 2008, they elected to develop the site themselves rather than pursuing a public private partnership.

And, if you expect a monolithic slab building, fear not: the project has been nominated for an architectural award.

For more, see in the Guardian: I’ve Seen The Future And It’s Norwich: The Energy-Saving, Social Housing Revolution

and in Dezeen: The Housing Mikhail Riches Creates Energy-Efficient Terraced Streets As Social Housing In Norwich



  1. Try: A Green Future With Housing For All? Of Course It Can Be Done. But It May Take Baby Steps


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