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13/02/2020

Ultra-Green Housing Scheme Underway In Bristol

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Efforts to make Bristol a more eco-friendly city have been boosted with the launch of a new housing scheme.

National contractor United Living has begun work to deliver a highly sustainable development of 50 affordable homes in partnership with United Communities and the Bristol Community Land Trust.

The Shaldon Road homes will provide residents with a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling minimising each home's carbon footprint. Built to 'PassiveHaus' principles, the energy efficient properties will each feature a mini 'Shoebox' ground source heat pump connected to an ambient shared ground loop array, supplied and installed by Cornish manufacturer Kensa Heat Pumps and Kensa Contracting. Complementing the low-carbon ground source heat pumps will be a MVHR (mechanical vented heat recovery) system, making the homes even more energy efficient and further lowering fuel bills for the residents. Encasing these renewable heat technologies, the homes will be constructed using a single skin 'Porotherm' block, cutting construction time and delivering improved thermal properties over traditional construction. Solar PV panels will also feature in the development to further reduce costs, whilst supporting a green transport plan which features electric car charging points, a car share scheme and improved pedestrian and cycle access.

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Communal green space around the homes is also being created with a dedicated and protected green corridor for biodiversity and wildlife including bats, birds, bees and other insects.

It is also one of the biggest 'self-finish' projects ever undertaken in Bristol. The development will provide a mix of two, three and four bedrooms which are a mixed tenure of shared equity and affordable rent. Future residents have committed to taking part in the 'self-finish' process which involves them making design decisions enabling them to tailor their new homes interior elements, as well as undertaking physical works on their properties including second fix carpentry, fitting kitchens and decorating. The 'self-finish' approach is aimed at making properties more affordable and coupled with the lower energy costs associated with the 'PassivHaus' design principles and renewable technologies, the project hopes to set a new standard for truly sustainable development.

Caroline Lewis, New Business Manager at United Living, said: "The start of this project represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from the whole project team. United Living are very proud to be involved in this project as it embodies all of our core value, 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, at United Living we are constantly working with our partners to deploy innovative ways to address these issues, the solutions we are using at Shaldon Road are a small part of this."

Anna Klimczak, Interim CEO at United Communities, added: "We are thrilled that work has started on this site. The Shaldon Road scheme will bring much needed new homes to the Lockleaze area and transform the lives of the incoming residents, many of whom are from the local community. The scheme has empowered residents to make decisions about their new homes many of whom have been involved from the start. Residents will also be gaining valuable practical skills through the self-finish model. Communities are at the heart of what we do at United Communities; 30% of our new homes will be community-led projects by 2024. We look forward to the scheme progressing and the residents enjoying their new homes."

Bristol City Council and Homes England are also supporting the scheme as the city aims to become carbon neutral by 2030.

(CM/JG)

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