ZEMCH is an acronym of Zero Energy Mass Custom Home aiming to tackle issues arising in the delivery of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable built environments in developed and developing countries, which accommodate people with different socio-economic backgrounds that relate to ages and abilities. ZEMCH Network was established in 2010 after a number of international industry-academia collaborative study tours were organised in order to observe the state-of-the-art production and sales facilities of leading low to zero energy or carbon dioxide emission sustainable housing manufacturers in Japan, which also practise inclusive design. The fisrt technical tour was held in 2006, later called 'ZEMCH Mission to Japan'.
Housing is a system of energy and environment and required to accommodate wants and needs of individuals and society, which are usually considered to be diverse and dynamic. The ‘needs’ factor often reflects minimum quality of end-user products (i.e. housing) and may embrace ‘adequacy’ being prescribed in conventional codes, while the ‘wants’ may be satisfied only if they are defined clearly by stakeholders (e.g. house-users and builder/developers) at the design decision making stage. ‘Mass customisation’ is an oxymoron or, perhaps, a paradigm case of a systems approach to identifying the aforementioned wants and needs that should be incorporated into the design of end-user products (or homes). Albeit increasing market demands for achievement of social, economic and environmental sustainability in housing today, conventional homebuilders (and housing manufacturers alike) who are often reluctant to spending extra time, money and effort for information gathering of new products and services are still barely able to adopt recently emerging innovations such as a mass custom design approach to the delivery of sustainable affordable homes. In principle, to build such homes, the level of product quality to achieve the agenda needs to be understood and determined by the users and/or producers (i.e. customisability) with due consideration of their economic constraints over the period of the lifespan (i.e. affordability). In short, ‘zero-energy mass custom homes’ are in demand being considered as the attributes of lower-cost and higher-performance sustainable housing development, which can be achieved through a proper organisational design decision making process that encompasses a series of actions.
ZEMCH Network was established with the aim to enhance industry-academia R&D collaborations on the delivery of zero energy mass custom homes in developed and developing countries. Therefore, anyone who is related to construction business and research is welcome to join the network with no annual fees. For more information and membership registration, please contact ZEMCH Network coordinator. Also, you are welcome to join Linkedin ZEMCH Network group for interactive discussion.
ZEMCH 2012 Reception at South Ayrshire Council County Building
(Photo: Ayrshire Post)
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