Housebuilder Berkeley will begin to build some of the greenest homes on the market from next January after making pledging to exceed new government environmental guidelines. Daily Telegraph

All Berkeley homes built from January 2008 will have their carbon emissions reduced by 25% and water consumption by 30% compared to average UK households.

Berkeley managing director Tony Pidgley said that the move would cost about £5,000 for each new private home. Berkeley is seeking planning permission for 2,000 private residences next year.

Pidgley urged the rest of the industry to follow in Berkeley’s footsteps, saying: “I hope that there will be a competitive advantage, but I also think that when we go here the rest of the industry will not be far behind.”

Berkeley is implementing forthcoming official guidelines for sustainable homes – known as Code 3 – two years before the government is due to enforce the new standards right across the UK house building industry.

The company also pledged to make 95% of its future projects on brownfield sites.

The costs of the initiative should come down as it becomes easier to build greener homes, Pidgley said, and materials and equipment become more readily available.