New Build Sustainable Housing, Gainsborough

Client: Longhurst & Havelok Homes in partnership with West Lindsey District Council
Completed: 2012

Budget: £1.2m

Allan Joyce Architects designed the award winning Cross Street Eco Town development, a series of sustainable new build two and three bedroom dwellings, ranging from 63 to 102m2. These are the first Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) Level 5 dwellings built for L&H Homes, and were only two credits off achieving Level 6.

The site was originally a car park owned by West Lindsey District Council (WLDC), who were a key partner in the realisation of the project. WLDC made the land available for development, contributed Section 106 funds for affordable housing, and along with financial support from the Department of Communities and Local Government, made the project possible. We worked with closely with WLDC to design a streetscape that reflected their regeneration aims for the area.

The houses use a variety of sustainable design techniques to reduce the energy consumption for the tenants. Structurally Insulated Panels, or SIPS, were used as part of the fabric first approach, which reduces construction times and site wastage as they are prefabricated off site, and achieve outstanding air tightness results. This combined with a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system (MVHR) ensures good air quality internally, without wasting heat when a window is opened to ventilate a room. Sustainable technologies, including fifty photovoltaic panels incorporated into the roof, along with rainwater harvesting, and triple glazed doors and windows, reduce carbon emissions and running costs. Every detail down to ensuring that all of the light bulbs were energy efficient was taken into account.

The development is special, as it is only one of eight projects to have secured two phases of funding to monitor in-use performance. The energy consumption results show that the houses are working well for the residents, who are seeing much lower household bills. The results gathered from the monitoring will go on to inform how to build better, more efficient buildings for tenants in the future.

The project also included the acquisition and sustainable refurbishment of an adjacent Victorian house, previously used as offices by WLDC, to provide two flats and a three storey family home. All walls were highly insulated to reduce heat loss, which achieved a better U-Value than current requirements for new properties. Windows and doors were replaced with new double glazed timber, in keeping with the original design of the building. Solar water heating has been fitted to the three storey home to further reduce the running costs for tenants.

Award Winner
- Chartered Institute of Building: Committed to Construction in the East Midlands, Committed to Sustainability 2013
- National Federation of Builders: Commitment to Environment / Sustainability 2012

Highly Commended
- Chartered Institute of Building: Committed to Construction in the East Midlands, Collaborative Working 2013

Finalist
- Greenbuild Award: Domestic New Build 2013
- Sustainable Housing Awards: Sustainable Smaller New Housing Project of the Year
- Association for Public Service Excellence: Best Partnership Working Initiative, Public / Private Partnership
- RICS East Midlands Awards: Residential 2014
- RICS East Midlands Awards: Regeneration 2014

Published Papers
- Sustainable Potentials of Housing Refurbishment, Buildings, vol 3 issue 1, March 2013