Housing minister Yvette Cooper has launched the UK’s first official zero-carbon homes at the BRE’s Offsite 2007 exhibition in Watford.

Cooper awarded stamp duty exemption to a house that is the first to meet the top level of the Code for Sustainable Homes, introduced in April by the government. “A quarter of carbon emissions come from our homes,” said Cooper. “That’s why zero-carbon homes are so important. We need a complete revolution in the way we design and build our homes.”

Designed and built by Kingspan Offsite, the two-bedroom ‘Lighthouse’ was built employing energy-efficient construction methods. The Lighthouse was part of schemes that included three other zero-carbon homes by Stewart Milne Group, ecoTECH and a carbon-neutral school by Re-Thinking.