Gordon Brown’s promise to make new homes 'zero carbon' by 2016 is unlikely to be met because of 'deeply embedded' failings in modern house-building methods, says a Government report. Daily Telegraph

The seven-year study tested 'eco-homes' built to insulation standards beyond those of the latest regulations and discovered heat losses that designers did not expect.

Tests carried out on some of the 700 new homes being built at Stamford Brook, once part of the National Trust’s Dunham Massey in Cheshire, found that even when homes were successfully constructed to use 60% less energy than the average home, they still leaked heat.

Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University and Redrow and Bryant, the builders, were taken aback by the scale of the heat losses through party walls in terrace houses.