Materials from the existing buildings on the site will be recycled in the new development and heat from air extracted from the homes will be recycled. Rainwater will be harvested for use in homes and gardens and residents will have access to allotments and orchards to grow their own produce.
At the time of announcement Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said: “Since our housing currently makes up a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions, it’s essential that the fight against climate change begins at home. This is why we’re making all new homes increasingly energy efficient, and zero carbon from 2016.”
“The Hanham Hall site shows that zero carbon new homes are becoming a reality. This will also be a real, sustainable community – showing that zero carbon homes help create attractive and sustainable places for people to live now and in future.”
Hanham Hall itself, a former hospital building, will be refurbished and transformed into a community centre for the neighbourhood. The centre will include a ‘sustainable living hub’ to help people become ‘greener’; with access to a crèche, café and a base for a car club. A community owned and run development trust will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the entire neighbourhood, including building maintenance, car sharing and gardening clubs.
Robert Napier, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency said: “As one of the HCA’s flagship schemes, this is about testing the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes and looking at innovative ways to achieve true sustainability. This will be the first large scale development in the country to be built to this high standard, demonstrating that while Level 6 is a challenge, it is one we must achieve if we are to prevent the impact of climate change and dwindling natural resources.”
Under the Code for Sustainable Homes, a new home’s sustainability is measured against nine categories of sustainable design. These include reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions through use of new technologies; consideration of health and well being within communities and household management and steps implemented to minimise ecological impact.
Other categories include water usage, materials used in construction and the environmental impact of sourcing them, making provision for surface water run off through adequate drainage systems, reduction in waste destined for landfill sites and reductions in pollution. Level 6 is achieved if a development scores a minimum of 90 out of 100 points across all nine categories defined by the Code, and includes mandatory requirements to be zero carbon and a design for water usage of 80 litres per person per day.
Mark Clare, Chief Executive of Barratt Developments PLC, said: “We are delighted to be building the first zero carbon community at Hanham Hall. There is no doubt that there will need to be significant changes in the way that homes are constructed to meet higher environmental standards; this project places us at the forefront of this important agenda.”
Work on site is due to start by the end of this year and the first homes are planned to be completed by 2010. The development will be the first created as part of the government’s Carbon Challenge programme, which aims to help the housebuilding industry fast track a number of developments that significantly reduce the impact on the environment, provide important lessons for delivering low carbon development and encourage people to live more sustainable lifestyles.
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