Lending from Triodos Bank UK, the sustainable bank, has enabled the creation of 25 zero-carbon homes that have just been completed in Southmoor, 6 miles (9.7 km) west of Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
Springfield Meadows is considered one of the UK’s most sustainable residential property development projects. All of the homes were developed by Ssassy Property and are now sold and occupied.
Benefitting from shared outdoor spaces and private gardens, it consists of 25 high-performance homes (9 affordable and 16 private houses), using a zero-carbon construction method, which also delivers net-zero energy.
Greencore Construction, the building contractor, has developed its own ‘off-site’ building system called Biond, using hemp-lime panels and natural wood fibre insulation to deliver Passivhaus performance and a better-than-zero carbon footprint.
This method has been combined with other sustainable development principles – including Bioregional’s One Planet Living certification – to produce houses that sequester more carbon than they emit and generate more energy than they use.
The homes have been independently validated by WSP, the leading engineering professional services consultants, which has assessed a typical Greencore Home at Springfield Meadows.
If you extrapolate the data from this report, the carbon footprint for a 100 sq m house is -27.8 tonnes (thereby better than carbon neutral) compared to +120 tonnes for an average ‘brick and block’ one of the same size.
The development has also been created with the needs of the community in mind, including an electric car club.
An orchard and wildlife pond has been designed in partnership with the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), which will monitor the wildlife and biodiversity of the project for the next five years and report back to the residents. All residents were given BBOWT complimentary membership when they moved into their new house.
The project is the winner of 11 awards – including the OxProp Best Residential Housing Development 2021 and Property Development of the Year at the 2021 Property Investor Awards – and has been shortlisted for a further five.
Paul Nicoll, Regional Team Manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “If we’re to reach the UK’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we urgently need our new homes to be of the highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards.
“By supporting projects such as Springfield Meadows, we’re helping to provide people with high-quality, community-focussed homes while also working to decarbonise the housing sector. This is a key focus for Triodos as we make progress towards being a net-zero bank by 2035.”
James Pritchett, Communications Manager at Greencore Construction, said: “We’re incredibly proud to build what we believe are the most sustainable homes in the country.
“We know that there’s a real desire in the local Oxfordshire community for zero-carbon housing, and Springfield Meadows is an exemplary example of building beautiful homes with sustainability at their core.”