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Official approval for 'green' homes set to cost just £70 a year to heat

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Official approval for 'green' homes set to cost just £70 a year to heat

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Published by Group Communications for Symphony Housing Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment

FAMILY homes built as part of a £15 million scheme to transform part of Oldham have been officially recognised as among the greenest in the world.

 The two properties at the St Mary’s development are so well-insulated and ventilated that they should cost residents just £70 a year to heat.

 Now Contour Homes has been told the three-bedroom houses have been constructed to such high standards that they have won Passivhaus accreditation.

 It’s a breakthrough for the social housing provider and partners who first began working to regenerate St Mary’s more than 10 years ago.

 Louise Marsden, Senior Project Manager at Contour Homes, said: “We are thrilled to finally receive the official certification from the Passivhaus Institute.

“This marks the culmination of careful design considerations, the thorough exploration of the most energy-efficient building materials, and high-quality construction work carried out on site by Bramalls.

“Passivhaus is the fastest-growing energy performance standard in the world and these properties are among the most energy-efficient available. They should help residents to dramatically reduce their fuel bills.”

In order to achieve Passivhaus status, the homes had to be built to guarantee exceptional airtightness and have a special mechanical ventilation system fitted.

This dramatically reduces the need for heating and cooling inside the properties, meaning much cheaper fuel bills for residents.

St Mary’s is a development of 93 houses in total, and the two Passivhaus properties are not the only ‘green’ homes on site.

A further four have been built to Level 6 under the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes, meaning they also meet rigorous environmental criteria.

They are fitted with a host of special features, including triple-glazing, low flow-rate sanitary ware, a Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery Unit and A+ rated electrical appliances.

The development is the first time Level 6 and Passivhaus homes have been provided on the same site in the North West.   

Meanwhile, the residents who will call the Passivhaus properties home are set to move in over the next few days.

The development has been funded with money from Contour Homes – part of Symphony Housing Group – the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Oldham Council.

The council also provided the land, Bramall carried out the construction, and Nicol Thomas was the architect, while BRE were technical advisors on the project.

Andrea Swanwick, Framework Manager at Symphony Housing Group, added: “We’re really keen to understand the benefits to our residents of this kind of sustainable build and we’re expecting to be able to realise significant savings in their energy bills. In turn, this will help reduce levels of fuel poverty in the area.

“Partnership working has been key, and the fact that we’ve been able to create such an innovative project is testament to the dedication of all those involved.”

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