A West Midlands housing provider is aiming to become the first housing association in the UK to build plastic-free houses.
Accord Housing Association says it will build 12 homes with ‘as little plastic as possible’ in the construction process, using alternatives to plastic in fitting kitchens, bathrooms and windows and reducing the amount of plastic used in building materials.
The houses will be built by Accord’s offsite manufacturing facility LoCaL Homes, which specialises in using modern methods of construction to build energy-efficient homes.
Alan Yates, Deputy Chief Executive at Accord, said: ‘This project will change how we manufacture our homes forever.
‘We are increasingly hearing about how single-use plastic waste is having an impact on the world’s environment, from build-up in the oceans, to landfill.
‘We hope that by building houses with a new range of plastic-free components we can play our part to minimise the impact on the environment.’
The project forms part of the CHARM (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) partnership, made up of representatives from four European countries: the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Each country will lead on a different project which aims to promote a circular economy in the housing sector.
While there have previously been attempts to create plastic-free houses, Accord says the project marks the first time that a project has looked at how mainstream houses can be produced without plastic.
Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Businesses at Accord said: ‘This trans-European project will enable us to work with our European partners to identify plastic-free building products.
‘We haven’t yet got a plastic-free solution to the electrics for instance, but we will be challenging people in the building products manufacturing industry to help us find solutions.’
The building sector is responsible for over 60% of resource use in Europe, with between 30-50% of material use taking place in housing construction.
While houses can last for centuries or more, the average kitchen or bathroom is changed every few years, generating plastic waste that is hard to recycle.
Accord has already begun designing the homes and aims to start development work on the homes starting from next year.
Photo Credit – Accord