Events & News


Towards zero energy development

Prof. Jason Pomeroy, Founder & Principal, Pomeroy Studio, Honorary Professor, University of Nottingham , Adjunct Professor, Mapua Institute of Technology

17 Sep 2012

CIT Auditorium, National University of Singapore , Computer Centre (Level 2), 2 Engineering Drive 4, Singapore 117584

4 – 5.30 pm


Pomeroy 2 edited 

The EU has an ambitious emissions abatement plan; it has set targets of an 80% reduction of CO2 levels by 2050, and a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, to 1990 levels. It relies on various financial programmes such as grants, tax incentives and also necessary legislations  to curb carbon emissions. A large proportion of emissions from cities can be traced to energy use in buildings. Therefore in the UK, incremental legislative steps have been taken to ensure that all residential buildings comply with ‘zero carbon’ targets by 2016. The target deadline for civic buildings is 2019.

While driving energy consumption down is important, the key to achieving the EU’s 2050 emissions reduction targets lies equally in harnessing renewable energy for use in buildings, as Prof Pomeroy argued. Passing legislation on building requirements and design environments would be integral to achieving this. There is a growing call in the UK for Passivhaus standards, which can lead to a 90% reduction in energy consumption per year, to be integrated into targets for low and ‘zero carbon’ buildings through the energy elements of the Code for Sustainable Homes and other upcoming revisions of the Building Regulations.

In Prof Pomeroy’s work on the Idea House in Malaysia, branded as Southeast Asia’s first carbon-zero home, he drew on European legislation and precedents such as the Passivhaus model, while integrating the local kampung tradition for cultural and reasons of identity. In terms of design, climatic analysis was conducted during the design stage to harness the natural windflow rather than using air-conditioning, for instance. Rainwater is harvested as a source of water for usage in the Idea House. Several other features ensure that building effectively leaves no carbon footprint on the environment.

Prof Pomeroy emphasized that the whole process from design to construction is important in achieving the carbon-zero goal. For example, to minimise the wastage of building material, he engaged early on with material suppliers and collaborated with the mechanical engineers right from the beginning of the design process to incorporate their views and expertise. The overall result of the Idea House project was the development of a sustainable process of designing, building and living in a home for the future.