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Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform

What is an Innovation Platform?

Innovation Platforms are designed to address major society and public policy challenges and where a government department is taking specific action through policy, regulation, procurement or financial measures to tackle the problem.

See story on LWEC website.

The importance of Low Impact Buildings

The UK Government want to see an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by 2050. The UK cannot meet its declared environmental targets without dramatically improving the life-cycle environmental cost of buildings.

The UK construction market is worth over £100bn per year, and there is growing pressure from customers and regulators for more environmentally friendly buildings, creating new growth opportunities for innovative businesses.

What is the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform doing?

The Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform is helping the UK construction industry deliver buildings with a much lower environmental impact.

Expected outputs

  • new and innovative tools and technologies for low impact buildings, including solutions for old buildings and for new build

Successful projects

Ty Unnos housing system

The house, Ty Unnos, was designed to meet Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (the system for measuring the sustainability and carbon reduction in the construction of sustainable homes). In just two years of development from initial feasibility to market, the current Ty Unnos build system has the potential to meet the UK’s future housing needs as well as the environmental regulations needed to create sustainable communities.

Retrofit for warm housing

Energy Action Devon, with North Devon Homes, plans to be one of the first Retrofit projects to refurbish two semi-detached houses in Exmoor National Park. The project will transform the 1930s semidetached houses in the village of Barbrook, with work starting in September 2010 and completing in February 2011.

Retrofit for the future

Fionnuala Costello from the Technology Strategy Board says 'We are delighted that "Retrofit for the Future" as well as benefitting the organisations that are taking part, has also triggered other retrofit initiatives, both public and private, across the UK. There are 86 projects covering 119 dwellings funded by the programme. Half the dwellings were completed by the end of 2010, with the rest due to finish by March 2011, with 2 years of monitoring thereafter'

Understanding and implementing best practice retrofitting is key to meeting the government's CO2 reduction targets by 2050 and the Technology Strategy Board is currently planning to share the learning across the industry. 

Who will benefit?


The Technology Strategy Board are also trying to recruit new members of the team and would welcome applicants from industry - please contact

  • The construction industry will have increased awareness of the impacts of environmental change
  • The construction industry will be better able to respond to government legislation
  • Uk-based business will be in a stronger position to to deveop low impact buildings in the global market


  • There will be a better understanding of how people interact with buildings, leading to better design for new low-impact buildings
  • There will be a decrease in the amount of carbon from UK buildings


Start and end dates: May 2008 to 2014

Organisations involved:

And also UK Green Building Council, Carbon Trust, Energy Technologies Institute, UK Climate Impact Programme, Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network, British Standards Institution.

Website: Low Impact Buildings

Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform