Support the development of new guidance to provide architects, contractors and housebuilders with the knowledge to deliver homes that are radically more water efficient and can help meet ‘water neutrality’. Model specifications will be available to be piloted in real projects with anonymised data on actual water use made publicly available.

Why it is needed: During this summer’s heatwave, the driest summer on record for 50 years, a drought was declared in 11 of the 14 Environment Agency areas of England. River flows, groundwater levels and reservoir stocks all decreased during July. Hosepipe bans are in place and households and businesses are being asked to use water wisely.

The Environment Agency estimates per capita consumption to be around 150 litres of water per day. Current best practice for potable water use in homes is 110 l/p/day whilst the RIBA 2030 challenge sets a target of < 75 l/p/day. In areas of Sussex and Hampshire Local Authorities are also now requesting ‘water neutral’ developments.

Proposed authors:

  • Cath Hassell is Director of ech2o and an expert in sustainable water strategies and low-carbon technologies. Cath regularly delivers training workshops to a wide range of audiences, from school pupils to construction professionals.
  • Tom Dollard is Sustainability and Innovation lead and a partner at award-winning architects Pollard Thomas Edwards. Tom is author of the best-selling book for RIBA, ‘Designed to Perform: An illustrated guide to delivering energy efficient homes’.

Timeframe: 3-6 months, aim for launch event in summer 2023.

Audience: Architects, designers, consultants, specifiers, local authorities, housing associations, private sector developers, housebuilders, contractors and policy makers.

Outputs: 20-page (approx.) guidance document, summary webpages with ‘bitesize’ best practice advice, case studies, call for pilot sites to test model specifications, dissemination events.


  1. Introduction and information on why the guide is needed.
  2. Discussion on mains water supply and its embodied energy. Discussion on the extra embodied energy of heating hot water.
  3. Discussion on current regulations in all parts of UK compared to best practice from across the world.
  4. Discussion on products and processes that can reduce water use including radical alternatives, also covering the wasteful use of clean drinking water for other uses
  5. Discussion on the wasteful disposal of rainwater and problems it creates for our sewerage systems.
  6. Model specification for new homes.
  7. Model specification for existing homes.
  8. Glossary/references.

Sponsorship details

Funding target: £45,000 +VAT.

Benefits to sponsors:

  • Acknowledgement of your support in the guide (PDF and print version TBC) including logo on front page, and company biography and weblink on acknowledgements page.
  • A case study or product profile within the guide.
  • Invitation to join project steering group.
  • Opportunity to input into authoring of sections of the guide (with peer-review from project steering group).
  • Opportunity to present at launch and networking event in 2023 with all 90+ GHA members invited, plus wider mailing list.
  • Acknowledge of your support in all press and PR, including regular press releases, project webpage, social media and newsletters.

More information: To enquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Richard Broad, Projects & Communications Manager, Good Homes Alliance –

For examples of previous GHA authored guidance and reports, please see the following links:

Call for Sponsors – Guide to Radical Water Reduction and Reuse in Homes

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