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Energy Efficiency Awards success for Gwens Grove, Bearley

bearley awards

Well done team Warwickshire Rural Housing!!

Gwens Grove, Bearley, our scheme of seven ultra-low carbon social homes, received recognition in last night’s Energy Efficiency Awards (West Midlands) in two categories:

  • Large-scale project of the Year: Commended
  • Housing Association of the Year: Highly Commended

As a social housing provider, combating climate change, tackling fuel poverty, and creating opportunities are key considerations for any new scheme design. This project delivered all of these. And more.

"We're delighted that our Gwens Grove scheme has been recognised in the Energy Efficiency Awards.  We're extremely proud of these low-carbon, energy-efficient, desirable, genuinely affordable homes that are more than just a roof over a resident’s head."

Neil Gilliver, Development Manager, Warwickshire Rural Housing

“The Bearley development is a great example of how we’re working in partnership in Warwickshire to respond to the climate emergency. The low-carbon construction and the innovative energy saving technologies support Stratford-on-Avon’s vision to be one of the UK's first carbon-neutral districts.

Cllr Ian Shenton, District Ward member and County Council member

Completed in August 2022, and built using the low-carbon Beattie Passivhaus system, the project has:

  • set a new standard for affordable rural homes, delivering seven carbon negative / low carbon homes,
  • transformed the lives of seven local families, providing energy efficient homes with low running costs,
  • offered training and employment for students and graduates from New Meaning, a local social enterprise education scheme,
  • improved the local area, by reinvigorating a brownfield site, and
  • demonstrated how partnership working is the key to a successful development.

Low carbon build. Energy efficient homes. Low running costs. Lots of indoor and outdoor space. Giving back to the community. And most importantly, happy residents.

Low carbon and energy efficient

The Beattie Passivhaus construction meets the Passivhaus performance standards of energy efficiency, comfort and quality. The homes were built around a sustainable timber frame, with high-performance insulation material injected into the floor, wall and ceiling cavities, creating one continuous insulated layer.

As well as the low-carbon Beattie Passivhaus structure keeping the homes warm in winter and cool in the summer, the homes also benefit from triple-glazed high-performance windows, photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps for heating and hot water, keeping energy bills lower.

Healthy homes

These homes are more than just a ‘roof over their heads’. They actively promote good health and wellbeing.

Fresh air, all the time

A Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system provides a continuous supply of warm, filtered fresh air that’s free from humidity, dust, allergens and airborne pollutants, helping reduce respiratory illnesses and protect from damp.

Low emissions

The MHVR works with the Beattie Passive structure and PV panels to reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, according to their EPCs, the houses and bungalows on this project will reduce CO2 emissions by MORE than 100%, contributing to cleaner air.

Space, inside and out

All homes exceed DCLG space standards to maximise living areas, providing opportunities for home working and optimising storage solutions. And, all the homes have private outdoor spaces to improve wellbeing.

Truly affordable homes

With such good thermal efficiency, these homes will lose significantly less heat than traditionally constructed homes and, with their super airtightness, heat is retained in the home further lowering the heat demand.  Meaning lower energy bills!

The homes are available for social rent at approx. 60% of market rent compared to affordable rents which are 80%, maximising affordability for residents.

“The financial benefits are immense. Our energy bills are down over 75% compared to what we paid last year. And the house heats itself, we’ve hardly put the heating on, it retains heat so well."

Giving meaning to low skilled workers

The project has given students, from an inspiring hands-on programme for young people who aren’t school-shaped, the opportunity to work on a real build.

New Meaning Construction works closely with its social enterprise sister company, New Meaning Training. These two organisations help to build something very special, living up to their group’s mantra – Building Strengths, Building Futures, Building Lives.