In 2016, the UK will implement new standards for efficiency in residential homes. Nine years in advance, though, they've already got a complete demo home that complies with the future regulations, designed to "lose 60% less heat than the normal home," according to the BBC. The Lighthouse, as it's called, was constructed by Kingspan Off-Site, a company that specializes in sustainable integrated building systems and products. It's on display at OFFSITE2007, a biannual event in Watford that "explores how modern construction and advanced technologies are coming together to deliver higher performing, more sustainable and smarter buildings."
The materials used [for the Lighthouse] include highly insulated, airtight building fabric which has been designed to provide generous daylight levels and includes effective solar control, together with integrated building services based around a platform of renewable and sustainable technologies. These include water efficiency techniques, renewable energy technologies, passive cooling and ventilation, as well as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR).
OFFSITE2007 is keeping a photo blog documenting the building process and the reactions to the completed zero-energy home during the course of the summer event. Right now, the cost of building such a home is undeniably higher than building a less efficient one, but between the counterbalance created through energy savings and the time left until all homes must be built according to these standards, there's reason to expect they'll become more affordable and accessible.