Green housing boosts Bristol’s carbon drive
Work has started on a green housing initiative that supports Bristol’s drive to be a carbon neutral city by 2030.
The 50 affordable homes in Shaldon Road are being constructed to PassivHaus principles, delivering high levels of energy efficiency and environmental enhancement.
The two, three and four bedroomed properties, which will be for shared ownership and affordable rent, also represent one of the biggest self-finish projects ever undertaken in Bristol.
This allows residents not only to be involved in the design of kitchens, bathrooms and other interior elements but to undertake work themselves, such as second fix carpentry, fitting kitchens and decorating.
The project, which also has community development as a core aim, is being built by United Living in partnership with United Communities and the Bristol Community Land Trust, with support from Bristol City Council and Homes England. It is hoped that it will set a new standard for truly sustainable development in the city.
Caroline Lewis, New Business Manager at United Living, said: “We are very proud to be involved in this initiative as it embodies all of our core values, especially our commitment to creating communities - not just building homes. We are acutely aware of the need to develop and implement solutions to tackle the housing shortage and climate change. The steps we are taking with our partners at Shaldon Road are a small part of this.”
Anna Klimczak, Interim Chief Executive Officer at United Communities Housing Association, added: “As well as delivering much needed new housing, this project will transform the lives of residents, empowering them to make decisions about their new homes, right from the start. Communities are at the heart of what we do and our aim is for 30% of our new homes being community led projects by 2024.”
Lindy Morgan, CEO at Bristol Community Land Trust, said: “The passion of all those involved, including residents, has driven this project forward and we cannot wait to see it coming out of the ground. It will offer life-changing opportunities to those who have been matched with a home and has always had community at the heart of it.”
The home design comprises the use of locally sourced natural materials that allow the buildings to breathe - minimising the use of chemicals in the construction process. Very low air tightness, coupled with high thermal efficiency, whole house mechanical ventilation, with heat recovery and maximum solar gain for light and heat mean there will be a low demand for heating.
When it is needed, ground source heat pumps – installed by Kensa Contracting - will provide it, together with hot water, minimising energy use. The installation of photovoltaic panels further enhances the green credentials of the homes.
George Gillow, Business Development Manager at Kensa, said: “This development of high quality, energy efficient housing, specifically built for local families, will also help Bristol to reduce CO2 emissions and improve local air quality.”
Enhanced tree planting, communal garden spaces and wildlife buffers are incorporated, together with sustainable urban drainage through the use of swales and permeable paving, to minimise the surface water flowing directly into the local network.
Electric car charging spaces, car club spaces and cycle storage are included, while cycle and pedestrian routes will open up access to the development, encouraging people out of cars. The ‘self-finish’ approach is aimed at making properties more affordable and coupled.
In June, United Living merged with The Fastflow Group - a provider of essential services to the utilities and property sectors - to create a £400 million plus turnover operation, with a forward order book of well over £1 billion, employing around 1,100 people.