This autumn Zebra will begin the long process of decarbonising our homes. This is the most ambitious strategy we have ever undertaken and is a thirty-year programme to reduce carbon usage to zero by 2050.
The first ten years of the programme will concentrate on improving the fabric of our international student housing primarily by looking at wall and roof insulation and windows and we will prioritise the student housing flats that performs most poorly in terms of energy usage. Simply, if we can keep the warmth in, we should be able to use less heating and less carbon. This should also help in terms of reducing expenditure on very expensive fossil fuels and that has a direct effect on our rent levels.
Whilst some of our stock of student housing is old and poorly insulated it’s actually better to insulate old housing than build new homes which uses a lot of carbon. And we have beautiful old buildings in lovely locations, and we want to preserve these for future generations of international students.
Our programme will start a Jerome House where we will begin by replacing some windows, replacing the roof covering, insulating walls and ceilings in some flats and fitting photovoltaics. We will consult all those affected by this work when we have clearer dates and work schedules.
We have established a new committee – the Development and Building Sustainability (DaBS) Committee to oversee this process for the Board.
We will also want to see how we involve residents in decarbonisation for it is vital that residents work with us to reduce carbon. If you have any thoughts or want to engage with us on all matters to do with how we reduce carbon use please let us know.
The Board met in late April. It approved our long term business plan which demonstrates how we can fund future repairs and improvements and the decarbonisation programme. It also approved the establishment of the DaBS committee and the first year plan for the decarbonisation programme.
Staff and Zebra Office
We’ve just completed the refurbishment of our office in Jerome House, but we will not be re-opening the office to the public. Our experience tells us that residents don’t want to visit the office and find it much more convenient to contact us by email or ‘phone.
All maintenance and repairs should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have an emergency repair outside of office hours please remember that you should report if first to your warden or deputy warden (in their absence). They will know what action to take.
Our Wardens and Deputy Wardens are a vital part of our service to our residents and we are massively grateful to them for their work. They really understand the issues that face international students and families because they are also international students themselves and many have families.
Please use our web portal MyHome (https://myhome.zebrahousing.com/) to improve your communication with Zebra. MyHome allows you to report & track repairs, amend your contact details, submit student letters and check your rent account. You have already received information on how to use MyHome, but if you need further assistance, please contact David Morrow (email@example.com).
Over the next few weeks there will be a number of new residents joining us. Do welcome them, make them feel at home and help them to settle in.
Steve has relaunched the social programme and it has already started with our annual garden party and barbecue for residents, staff and board members, which took place on 17 June 2022. Look out for subsidised events throughout the next few months including theatre, visits to art galleries etc.