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This is a great example of

How low land costs and effective partnership working can help deliver highly sustainable new affordable homes using modern methods of construction.

emh, East Midlands

Heathcott Road, Leicester: a PassivHaus-accredited project for affordable rent
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What we did

Taking a community-led approach, emh group has developed an exemplar scheme of 68 new Passivhaus accredited homes.

How we did it

Following the transfer of land at Heathcott Road to a local community group for £1 by Leicester City Council, land for the housing element of the site was simultaneously transferred to emh group. The community group retained the remaining land for a permaculture farm. The local community group led on local engagement with residents to support the planning process.

With the Mayor directly involved in setting the sustainability requirements for the land sale, emh group wanted the new homes to achieve PassivHaus certification, designed to be very comfortable and healthy and to use vastly less energy than conventional buildings irrespective of climate. The units also achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. The development of an exemplar project was essential to the transfer of the land by the local authority for a nominal sum.

As PassivHaus standard homes the properties are super insulated and extremely airtight, incorporating a 140mm insulated timber frame construction and triple glazed windows. Each dwelling is controlled by a MVHR (mechanical ventilation & heat recovery) system that recovers heat that would otherwise be lost and re-circulates back into the dwelling. This means there is very little need for the occupiers to use the heating system.

The impact we’ve had

  • 68 high quality PassivHaus standard homes with extremely low energy costs
  • An ‘exemplar’ development for the local authority’s environmental aspirations with features such as low energy lighting; reduced water consumption measures; provision for household recycling and composting; rain water collection; and secure bike storage to reduce reliance of cars.
  • A community-led project supporting the work of local groups, including a social enterprise producing jam being sold through Co-operative supermarkets, and adjacent permaculture farm.

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