Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
BRE Innovation Park shows 12 world-leading sustainable homes and buildings
Environment Minister Richard Benyon has visited Business Research Establishment Innovation Park in Watford to see how homes of the future will look and what sustainable building materials can achieve.
The BRE site features 12 world-leading sustainable homes and buildings that demonstrate diverse and pioneering approaches to low impact design and construction.
Benyon was shown a range of the sustainable homes at the BRE Innovation Park, which displays more than 400 different construction innovations and emerging technologies, including the Natural House, constructed using natural materials such as clay blocks, lime plaster and sheep’s wool insulation, and designed to deliver significant energy savings.
He was also shown the Kingspan Lighthouse, which was the world’s first zero carbon home when it was built in 2007. It uses renewable technologies such as a biomass boiler and a host of water efficiency measures, which mean that 30 per cent of the water used comes from rainfall or recycling systems.
The house also has smart metering to allow occupants to see how much energy they are using.
Benyon said: "The advances in sustainable building and design displayed at the BRE Innovation Park are truly impressive. This goes to show what can be achieved on a large scale by embracing more sustainable methods and resources."
"It is essential that businesses operate more sustainably and minimise their environmental impact if we are to ensure our economy remains competitive. It is pleasing to see that the construction industry is rising to the challenge."