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Gloucestershire Business News

Work starts on 88 low-energy sustainable homes

Work has begun on a new community of 88 sustainable homes near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.

Stonewood Partnerships said the homes, at Orchard Field in Siddington, have been designed to be as low energy as possible without compromising on standards of finish and craftmanship.

The housebuilder is developing the project as joint venture with retired architect Nicholas Arbuthnott, whose vision inspired the scheme.

The new homes have been designed by sister firm Stonewood Design, with input from environmental engineers Greengauge Building Energy Consultants.

Each Cotswold stone or red brick home will have solar panels embedded into the roof, 45cm thick walls filled with eco-friendly insulation, triple glazing and airtight interiors to eliminate draughts and allow the energy-efficient heating system to cut bills by up to 70 per cent compared to standard -new-built houses.

Stonewood add that each of the 11 contemporary Cotswold styles of home in the community has been designed to meet stringent Association for Environment Conscious Building standards that demand excellent construction and low energy consumption.

Mr Arbuthnott, who secured an option on the site close to Siddington C of E School and was given outline permission on appeal in June 2017, said the key to making the one, two, three, four and five bedroomed homes as low energy as possible is in their design.

"We call it a fabric-first approach - which means if you get the building right in the first place you make it energy efficient. The timber-frames will be pre-assembled and insulated and pieced together on-site so there will be far more quality control and they will be quicker to build," he said.

"Using timber will mean far less concrete which also reduces the embodied carbon."

Matt Vaudin, director of Stonewood Design said thought has gone into making the community as sustainable as the homes.

"The scheme is ambitious and exciting," he said. "We are creating a really nice community within a landscape-led project that is different to normal housing development. We are creating places instead of just spaces."

Mr Arbuthnott said his vision is of a community that lives seamlessly together - with the majority of homes facing each other to increase the sense of togetherness and a focus on communal spaces.

He said: "We feel it is important after these Covid times to bring people together and to know each other. That is why we have included lots of public open spaces in four courtyards planted with fruit trees."

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