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This is a project for low-income social housing tenants for Midland Rural Housing Association. New Meaning Construction were commissioned to build the Superstructures (completed in early February 2022) by Harper Group, the primary contractor for the site. We also needed to liaise with the Health & Safety Contractors, the Local Authority Building Control, the Warranty Provider and the Structural Engineers. New Meaning Construction is proud that its young team (the average age is 23) was able to work so professionally with a truly multidisciplinary team.
The average house price in Warwickshire is now more than 10 times the average annual income. In the current context of rapidly rising energy bills the need for affordable solutions are crucial. Thankfully the completion of our Bearley project provided some answers at just the right time.
A desire to create affordable housing was conceived by Bearley villagers back in 2001, with residents saying “the majority of the village would like it to develop as a family community with affordable housing to keep the younger generation in the village”. The realisation of the scheme was a truly collective effort by the parish council, the project partners and supported by Stratford-on-Avon District Council, who provided £485,000 of grant support, and Homes England who provided over £400,000 of funding. The project partners couldn’t have known how crucial their roles in providing affordable housing would be in 2022. By choosing to work with all the project partners, including New Meaning Construction, they were able to give local people an affordable housing solution, not just in terms of rent, but also in terms of energy bills!
The seven homes in this development are made up of two 2 bedroom houses, two 2 bedroom bungalows, two 1 bedroom flats and one 3 bedroom house, all now accommodating people with a connection to this much-loved village. New Meaning Construction built the superstructures from the ground up, creating thermally efficient passive boxes built with the Beattie System to passive house standards. These building envelopes mean that the homes are highly energy efficient and low carbon. Invaluable contributions to the build process were trainees and graduates of New Meaning Construction’s sister organisation, the social enterprise New Meaning Training which provides training and support for students who left school with few to no qualifications. By providing the young people with the opportunity to contribute to this project they are learning a trade, getting qualifications and developing a way to earn an independent living. New Meaning Construction were commissioned to build the Superstructures (completed in early February 2022) by Harper Group, the primary contractor for the site. We also needed to liaise with the Health & Safety Contractors, the Local Authority Building Control, the Warranty Provider and the Structural Engineers. New Meaning Construction is proud that its young team (the average age is 23) was able to work so professionally with a truly multidisciplinary team.
The homes have undergone rigorous testing to obtain their Energy Performance Certificates and they've been assessed as so efficient that combined with the sustainable materials used they’re actually carbon negative! The CO2 annual output, for the 3 bed houses (@95m2), will be -0.2tonnes compared to +6tonnes of C02 for a standard construction home. With the added benefit of solar panels and air source heat pumps, these homes will have extremely low energy bills.
Arslan Erinmez, Chair of Bearley Parish Council explained what the new homes mean to the village:
"We are very proud of these affordable new homes, which were built on two small brownfield sites. They will have a very positive effect on our community, enabling people to downsize and bringing younger people, who’d had to move away, back to live closer to their families.”
Councillor Ian Shenton, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change at Stratford-on-Avon District Council said:
“The low-carbon construction and the innovative energy saving technologies support Stratford-on-Avon’s vision to be one of the UK's first carbon-neutral districts. To see a number of organisations working together to provide high quality, energy efficient affordable housing whilst also teaching new skills, in a practical way, to those less well off or disadvantaged is a fantastic combination which I applaud and support wholeheartedly.”
Councillor Ian Shenton, Climate Change Portfolio Holder,
Stratford-on-Avon District Council said:
“This PassivHaus development is a great example of how we’re working in partnership in Warwickshire to respond to the climate emergency. The low-carbon construction and the innovative energy saving technologies support Stratford-on-Avon’s vision to be one of the UK's first carbon-neutral districts.”
Councillor Daren Pemberton, Portfolio Holder for Place and Economy, Stratford-on-Avon District Council comments:
"We are so pleased to support Warwickshire Rural Housing Association’s innovative development, which will provide high quality, low-carbon, affordable homes for the Bearley community. It demonstrates just what can be achieved by working closely with the community and creating open and honest partnerships that put our residents and communities centre stage.”
Councillor Arslan Erinmez, Chair of Bearley Parish Council, said:
“Bearley Parish Council is delighted that the affordable housing were constructed to the latest design and ecological standards. It is exciting to see the efforts and perseverance of the Parish Council over the past decade bringing our 20 year dream to be a reality.”
New Meaning Construction uses the Beattie Passivhaus System An advanced low energy construction standard. With a simple timber framework, sandwiching high performance insulation, this system uses considerably less carbon dioxide than standard masonry construction. The superstructures include a 300mm cavity filled with a blown insulation to ensure the thermal capabilities of the property. This combination with
triple-glazed windows makes the homes completely draught-free. This effectively eliminates heat loss and creates buildings with very low environmental impact.
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