Derwenthorpe: design, behaviours and inclusion

Departments: The Centre for Housing Policy and the Stockholm Environment Institute at York

Contact: Deborah Quilgars

image of Derwenthorpe residents in discussion

Forty two percent of UK Co2 emissions result directly from actions taken by individuals linked to housing, food, energy and personal travel. Derwenthorpe, a housing development on the edge of York sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, is intended to support lower energy use and promote community development.  It offers a perfect opportunity to investigate why, to-date, low energy housing has resulted in lower 'as-built' and 'as-used' performance than expected.

The project aims to support the development of an environmentally and socially sustainable community at Derwenthorpe through authoritative but rapidly applicable research evidence on:

  • the link between home energy use and the whole household carbon footprint
  • variation in effects by income, household type and tenure
  • cumulative effects of multiple initiatives
  • change over the medium term (including 'rebound')

We also aim to leave a simple but robust research framework in place for 2015 for ongoing assessment either by a trained community group or others.

Funding: Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and Joseph Rowntree Research Foundation