Publication Details

Heffernan, E., Pan, W., Liang, X. & De Wilde, P. (2014). Group self-build housing: The potential to deliver zero carbon homes. In L. Jankovic (Ed.), Zero Carbon Buildings Today and In the Future 2014: ZCB2014 (pp. 181-188). United Kingdom: Birmingham City University.


The UK Government has stated that self-build homes are likely to be more affordable, energy efficient and innovative than standard market housing. However, there is little academic research to support these assertions. In addressing this gap in knowledge, this paper reviews the literature relating to the pros and cons of self-build housing, with a focus on energy efficiency. The paper explores expert opinions on the suitability of self-build housing as a development model for the delivery of zero carbon homes. The research employed a Policy Delphi study using three rounds of questionnaire surveys to gather data iteratively from a heterogeneous panel at a national level in the UK. The experts believed that the self-build sector was well placed to deliver high quality, energy efficient homes. The findings indicate a belief that group self-build homes are likely to be more energy efficient, affordable, high quality and meet the needs of the occupants than open market housing.