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NHBC research reveals 'airtight' homes concerns

Three quarters of homebuyers will not buy an ‘airtight’ house even though this is what the highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes demands, research from the NHBC Foundation has revealed.

The body spoke to homebuyers and housebuilders as part of its research into zero carbon homes.

Around 76 people said if a home was ‘airtight’ in that you could not open its windows - in order to restrict energy loss from draughts - they would be discouraged from buying it, for fears that this would prove unhealthy or restrictive.

The research is among the first to gauge whether or not consumers are prepared to live in or pay for the zero carbon homes that the Government is demanding must be build as standard by 2016. It is likely to add to home builders concerns about whether they will be able to sell the homes after they are built.

NHBC Foundation chairman Nick Raynsford MP said: “In order to achieve Level 6 of the Code, the next generation of housing will differ significantly from today. And while previously evolutionary changes in house such as double glazing…have had positive effects on lifestyle for the consumer, the proposals for improving the environmental performance of new homes may not necessarily be perceived in the same way.”

The research, Zero Carbon: What does it mean for homeowners and housebuilders, was launched today.