Gloucester housebuilder Newland Homes welcomed the MP for North Somerset, the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox, for a hard hat tour of its inaugural collection of zero carbon homes in Tickenham, North Somerset, this week.
The MP saw the renewable technologies which are transforming the way modern homes are designed and run.
Progress is well underway on the first of 32 zero carbon houses in Tickenham, between the towns of Clevedon and Nailsea, which will come complete with solar panels, air source heat pumps and electric car charging points, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and providing a cleaner and greener alternative to homeowners. These renewable initiatives means that the house creates as much prime energy* as it needs at zero cost to the homeowner.
Dr Fox MP said: “Carbon neutral quality housing, in small developments attuned to local circumstances, is the housing we need for the future.”
Jeremy Drew, Developments Director at Newland Homes, aded: “With all eyes on COP26 in recent weeks, we know how critical it is to be taking action on climate change now. The volume housebuilding industry is awash with future intentions but we’ve yet to see the deliverables of zero or low carbon homes built at scale. As a smaller, private developer we can be nimbler and create the type of homes that the public are demanding now. Companies can’t sit back and wait for change to happen, you have to be out front leading it.”
Newland Homes has three developments underway in the South West, providing more than 100 zero carbon new homes next year. The company was the first traditional housebuilder in the UK to sign the United Nations Climate Neutral Now Pledge, which is a commitment to measure greenhouse gas emissions, implement means to reduce them, to consider offsetting and to report progress annually.
The highly efficient detached homes under construction in Tickenham will range in size from three bed up to five bed properties. The houses have been orientated to maximise solar gain and depending on the orientation of the roof, between 12 and 20 high-performance solar panels will be installed to each property to generate electricity.
Air source heat pumps (ASHP) will replace gas boilers. ASHPs absorb heat from the outside air to heat rooms within the home and provide hot water. They are highly efficient and can still extract heat when outside air temperatures are as low as -25 degrees. The ASHPs supply heat to an underfloor heating system on the ground floor and radiators on the first floor, keeping the house at an optimised constant temperature by utilising the ground floor very much like a large radiator. Furthermore, the new homes at Tickenham are constructed with high levels of insulation.
The show home at Tickenham will be ‘climate considerate’, demonstrating how a new build show home aesthetic can be achieved in a sustainable manner. For example, the sofas are made of a textile called Rolefin, which is formed of recycled waste fibres and water is not used during production or processing. Furthermore, furniture will be upcycled or repurposed where possible and reclaimed materials will be used.
Gloucester-based Newland Homes celebrates its thirtieth year in operation this year, and Tickenham is one of two locations in the South West where the company intends to plant an ‘anniversary woodland’.
As well as the anniversary woodland, a large wildflower meadow with natural outdoor play equipment will be created. The wildflower meadow will have mown, meandering paths with gravel in a natural style, complemented with a timber trim-trail play space. Small holes in the base of fences, creating ‘highways’ that enable hedgehogs to roam freely will also be a feature of the development.