While efforts are in full-swing to identify the most feasible way of addressing the housing shortage in the U.K, housing alternatives are being explored further in Britain, with construction of Britain’s biggest development of zero carbon homes set to get underway after Peterborough planners gave it the green light.
The homes are being delivered as part of the government’s Carbon Challenge programme, which is designed to show architects and housebuilders how level 6 of the "Code for Sustainable Homes" (the technical guidance from the UK government to build homes that reduce carbon emissions) can be achieved.
U.K’s Green Home Builders: Morris Homes
Peterborough City Council has given Morris Homes the approval to build 295 new homes to Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes on a 17-acre former factory site close to Peterborough United's London Road football ground in Fletton. The 295-home scheme incorporates improved architecture and construction technologies to drastically reduce carbon emissions.
Morris Homes is working with sustainable architecture specialist Browne Smith Baker and landscape architects Barnes Walker on the green scheme, which will include a sustainable urban drainage system and carbon zero energy generation alongside retail and community facilities.
The apartment block, to be delivered by Morris Homes, complete with a grass roof and green walling, will sit above a 3,000 sq ft food store.
The sustainable development will provide a mixture of 63 two-bedroom, 90 three-bedroom and 68 four-bedroom houses plus 74 two-bedroom apartments in a seven-storey block, one of the unique green features at the 7-hectare, former factory site being an ecological gabion wall that will be made of sustainable rock, crushed recycled material and climbing plants.
The project will receive a £7.8 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and forty per cent of the homes will be offered under social, rented or shared ownership terms to people on the housing needs list and as such.
Terry Fuller, executive director for the HCA in the East and South East, said: “This is great news for Peterborough and the industry. The ‘zero carbon’ status aims to create new homes and places that are appealing, attractive and point the way to how we could all live in the future.”
Terry Fuller, executive director at the HCA, said in a statement, "This is great news for Peterborough and the industry. The 'zero carbon' status aims to create new homes and places that are appealing, attractive and point the way to how we could all live in the future."
The Future of Zero Carbon Homes
With the urgent need for Zero Carbon homes being recognized globally, the Morris Homes project comes at a very opportune time, and is hopefully set to change perceptions and show that zero carbon living can be a reality.
The aim of zero carbon housing is to raise the environmental performance of homes within a community, without cost escalation, and maintaining quality living at the same time. It also aims to reduce fuel bills and pollution levels for the occupants of the zero carbon communities.
The Morris Homes project adheres to this aim of zero carbon housing in its aspirations of achieving superior cost efficiencies by driving down construction costs.
Designed to set new standards in sustainable living through the inclusion of innovative lifestyle features that reduce carbon emissions within the community, let’s hope this is a first in many more developments across scales and types to follow!