Breaking ground for ground-breaking new homes

Work on a housing development of the future, to build more than 200 low carbon homes for Cardiff, has begun.

Cardiff Council and its partners, Wates Residential, have started construction on the largestdevelopment in the Cardiff Living scheme, that will deliver 214 new properties on the former site of Eastern high school off Newport Road.

The innovative development has been awarded £4.1m of Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme (IHP) funding and will take energy performance standards to a new level as all of the homes will incorporate renewable technologies and smart energy management systems to significantly reduce the energy demand on the grid, as well as helping to tackle fuel poverty by significantly reducing energy bills.

The site will include 65 new council homes, 44 of which will be Community Living flats for older people and 21 two and three-bedroom houses.  A further 149 properties will be for sale on the open market and both council and sale housing will be built to the same energy performance standards.

The Community Living scheme called Addison House will be a state-of-the-art building designed to meet the needs of older people and will be the first of four new similar facilities to be built across the city as part of Cardiff Council’s Older Person’s Strategy. 

The facility will consist of one and two bedroom flats, comprising open plan living, private balconies, dual aspect design, which are flexible enough to cater for residents’ changing needs. The building will also have two residents’ lounges, a roof terrace overlooking the Bristol Channel as well as a large communal courtyard garden.

The Council and Wates Residential are working with Cardiff-based sustainable energy services company, Sero to incorporate low carbon technologies into the development of all the new homes including ground source heat pumps, smart thermal storage, electric vehicle charging points, solar panels and smart controls for residents. Sero will provide an innovative grid energy control network that will intelligently draw, discharge and anticipate energy demands, almost completely avoiding the National Grid at peak times.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Cardiff Council is committed to piloting new forms of construction and highly energy-efficient schemes as we seek to increase the amount of affordable homes in the city.

“We are already leading by example in our approach to developing innovative, new homesand have been awarded IHP grants since totaling over £7.4 million for Cardiff Living schemes. Not only will these new homes provide much-needed good quality homes to help us tackle housing pressures in the city, the renewable energy technology incorporated in their construction will help reduce bills for both private residents and council tenants, as well as reducing the carbon output of the new homes, which is a win-win situation.

“This is the largest development in our Cardiff Living programme while Addison House, first of our Community Living schemes on site, is an important part of the development, providing state of the art homes to meet the changing needs of older people over time.

“I’m delighted to see this exciting scheme getting underway and look forward to watching the development of the site and the delivery of these innovative new homes over the next few years.”

Ed Rees, Regional Director for Wates Residential commented: “We are delighted to be taking our award-winning Cardiff Living partnership with Cardiff Council to the next level with our largest development site yet. These new homes have been designed with local people in mind and offer an exemplar for high quality, sustainable living that will lead the way in the implementation of energy efficient housing for Wales.

“We believe that everyone deserves a great place to live and, by harnessing innovative construction methods and carbon saving technologiesthat learn from people’s energy use habits to reduce energy bills, we hope that these new homes will continue to bring positive benefits to the local community for many generations to come.”

Managing Director of Sero, James Williams, added: “Cardiff Council has set out its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 -and decarbonising new and existing homes is clearly an important part of this overall picture.  We are looking forward to working with Wates and the Council to demonstrate a blueprint for the delivery of high quality, low carbon new homes across the Capital and beyond.  The project will use flexible and intelligently-managed energy systems that – as well as helping tackle the climate emergency through lower carbon emissions (by shifting grid demand for electricity off-peak to help support renewables supply) – will result in significantly lower bills for residents that will help eliminate the risk of fuel poverty.”

Work has started on the site and is expected to be completed in phased over the coming three years.