Lancaster City Council is to build four one-bed flats featuring a range of environmentally-friendly features, earning them an EPC rating of A.
Through architects Mason Gillibrand and local contractor Baldwin Building Services, the project has seen the demolition of a structurally unsafe house to make way for four one-bed flats, a manager’s office and community room.
The new homes provided for residents at the council’s sheltered housing scheme at Alder Grove in Lancaster will drastically reduce heating costs for those residents moving in and meet the 2025 Future Homes Standard, avoiding retrofitting costs when the new building regulations come into force.
Etopia has begun construction works, using a special panelised building system which has never before been used in the North West or by any local authority in the country.
Using the insulated panels made in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, a 3-bed home can typically be built in under four days, saving at least 20 per cent water and embodied carbon during construction.
In addition, the maximum number of solar panels possible have been incorporated into the design and the electricity generated will be divided by the four dwellings.
Electric vehicle charging points will be provided, along with highly efficient storage heaters to maximise efficiency for tenants.
Nicola Clayton, head of business development at Etopia, said: “We’re delighted that Lancaster City Council is the first in the North West to use our structural insulated panels that go beyond current regulations. It will allow them to deliver zero-carbon homes that are not only sustainable but are also affordable, warm, and great places to live."
In 2019 Lancaster City Council declared a climate emergency and has set a target of making all of its activities net zero carbon by 2030. Through its housing strategy it is aiming to bring of its properties up to at least EPC Band C by 2030, which is well underway and has already completed two major projects at The Greaves and Beech Avenue and conversions at four other sites.
Coun Caroline Jackson, cabinet member with responsibility for housing at Lancaster City Council, said: “I’m delighted to see that work has started on these much-needed new properties. The council is committed to improving the energy efficiency of its council housing stock and this is just one example of where we are taking action to do so.
“Residents benefit from homes that are warmer and will lower their energy bills, while at the same time helping to tackle the climate emergency as the council continues its journey to becoming net zero carbon by 2030.”
The project is due for completion by June 2024.
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