A ground breaking ceremony was held in Cambridge to mark the start of work on 70 new low-carbon council homes designed to Passivhaus standards.
Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) – a partnership between the city council and developer, the Hill Group – are building the homes at a site on Aylesborough Close in the city’s Arbury ward.
The development replaces 36 ageing homes, which are said no longer meet the requirements of residents, and fall “significantly” short of current space standards with very low energy efficiency ratings.
Councillor Gerri Bird, executive councillor for housing, and a CIP board member, said, “I am delighted to see work starting at Aylesborough Close which will provide our residents with more council homes in the city.
“Whilst we ensure that we are building sustainable new communities and providing green open space and leisure facilities across our developments, it’s also important that we ensure that our homes are healthy and improving the quality of lives for our tenants. Aylesborough Close is doing just this.”
Tom Hill, managing director at the Hill Group, said: “Aylesborough Close is an exciting development for the partnership as we continue to replace underperforming, ageing properties with additional high-quality low-carbon homes across the city.
“Through a fabric-first approach and the integration of renewable technology, these new homes will provide sustainable, renewable energy solutions. This benefits residents by reducing energy usage and improving indoor air quality, offering additional health advantages.”
Arranged in three low-rise buildings, the development features a range of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, including wheelchair-accessible homes, and private outdoor space for each home in the form of a terrace or balcony.
Each apartment has been designed to provide residents with comfortable living spaces with excellent air quality and reduced running costs. To achieve the optimum balance of natural light without concern for overheating, each home will be well insulated and feature high-performance windows, underfloor heating, air-source heat pumps, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery, and photovoltaic solar panels.
Set within a landscaped environment, existing green spaces along the edges of the development are being enhanced, and a dedicated residents’ garden, play area, and horticulture area will be incorporated.
Additional landscaping of new trees, mini meadows, and planting is intended to deliver a 20% biodiversity net gain. Furthermore, the integration of green roofs, rain gardens, permeable paving, and attenuation tanks will support the sustainable management of surface water.
Main image: Councillor Gerri Bird, executive councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council, and CIP board member; with AJ O’Neill, contracts manager at the Hill Group; and Simon Smith, CIP board member
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