Two years on from the completion of the innovative Cross Street development in the centre of Gainsborough, a series of results has been published today (6th February) demonstrating the true difference that eco-friendly features make to residents’ household bills.
Properties at Cross Street were the first built to Code level 5 in the West Lindsey District and were designed using ‘fabric first’ principles to improve the Fabric Energy Efficiency. The collaboration between Longhurst Group, L&H Homes, West Lindsey District Council, construction firm Robert Woodhead and Innovate UK, resulted not only in an exceptional scheme providing sustainable homes for residents but also a range of findings that can be utilised when building eco-friendly homes in the future.
Extensive research conducted by the project team looked at various factors, such as energy usage and residents’ lifestyles to understand how energy efficient properties perform over time. Their findings show that eco-friendly features bring massive savings for residents with 65% reduction in heat demand, 70% and 30% reduction in gas and electricity bills respectively and 20% reduction in water consumption compared to an average home in the UK.
One of the main findings of the project group was that educating residents about benefits of the systems installed in their homes was key to the success and as residents became more aware of how and when they are using energy compared to their neighbours, an improvement in energy use has been noticed.
Positive results recorded by the project team have been echoed by residents, one of them commented:
‘The Solar Panels do help with the electricity and the water harvester is good too. As far as I am aware, my bills are cheaper than my family and friends.”
Another resident added:
“Heating works well and warms quickly, although we haven’t had much need for it.”
Craig Pygall, Construction Director from Robert Woodhead Ltd said:
“We are delighted that the scheme has performed so well, it will help tackle the growing issue of fuel poverty by providing simple but highly energy efficient homes.”
Mike Hardy, L&H Homes Managing Director said:
“L&H Homes are committed to tackling fuel poverty and I’m really pleased that our residents can benefit from high quality sustainable homes delivered as a part of this innovative project.”
Andy Patchitt Development and New Business Manager at Longhurst Group said:
“The Fabric First approach has proved to be really successful, we knew we wanted to build homes to help tenants live for less so started thinking about how to achieve that through the buildings themselves rather than relying on the over-provision of technology. The monitoring project has shown fantastic results that will hopefully influence construction choices on other sustainable projects across the UK.”