EcoHomes XB claims to help support the building of environmentally friendly mass housing

BRE, one of the UK's leading centres of expertise for construction and the built environment, has announced the launch of EcoHomes XB.

An addition to the existing EcoHomes, the new tool has been designed specifically to help housing associations and local authorities plan and measure the benefits of improvement to their housing stock, therefore aiding overall environmental performance.

Local authorities and housing associations between them represent something in the region of 4 million homes, which is estimated to emit around 27.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

David Strong, BRE Environment's managing director said: "Reducing the environment impact of the existing housing stock is a vitally important issue. BRE has worked closely with the Housing Corporation to develop EcoHomes XB, an environmental assessment tool for existing managed housing stock."

Currently assessments under EcoHomes XB are for the guidance of social landlords and are not yet mandatory requirements for housing associations. BRE's EcoHomes, on the other hand, is a build requirement across the Housing Corporation's national investment programme.

Jon Rouse, chief executive of the Housing Corporation said: "We are committed to increasing sustainability across the whole housing sector. Although currently a voluntary measure, EcoHomes XB has the potential to support environmental improvements across all 4 million existing homes owned and managed by housing associations and local authorities."

The scheme has been piloted twice so far. Involving consultation from various housing associates, local authorities, EcoHomes assessors and other interested parties the final tool has taken just over 2 years to complete.