First ultra-low energy homes on the way to Mansfield

Work has started on the construction of Mansfield’s first ultra-low energy homes.  

Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams visited the site on Saundby Avenue to meet representatives from local developers Robert Woodhead Ltd and hear more about the project on Monday 9 August 2021.

In line with Mansfield District Council’s Green agenda and commitment to lowering carbon emissions, the council is building the four two-bedroom homes to a Passivhaus design, which reduces their ecological footprint and results in them needing little energy for heating or cooling.

They will be built with meticulous attention to detail and designed and constructed according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. There are only 195 Passivhaus certified homes in the UK and none in Mansfield.

The council’s in-house team of architects designed the homes using software that calculates energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. The buildings will be airtight and have very high levels of insulation, extremely high performance windows with insulated frames and a mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery.

These measures reduce the heat loss so much that the homes barely need any heating at all. Passive heat sources like the sun, human occupants and household appliances cover a large part of the heating demand. This in turn means lower energy bills for the tenants.

The semi-detached houses, each with two double bedrooms housing up to four people, will be owned and managed by the council. They will be let through its Homefinder service, which has very high demand for two-bedroom properties with 2,246 applicants who are eligible for a property of this kind.

The Passivhaus scheme is one of the first projects to benefit from the council’s new procurement policy, which puts a greater emphasis on social, environmental and economic factors.

As part of the contract with Robert Woodhead Ltd, the low energy homes will create local training and employment opportunities, support local supply chain companies, involve schoolchildren and community organisations, reduce carbon emissions through the planting of trees and by recycling a high percentage of construction waste.

Mayor Andy said: “This is a really exciting project and a first for the council. Not only are we committed to providing more affordable council homes for rent, but the environment is a key consideration in everything we do. The fact this project will provide much-needed two-bed homes with such low carbon emissions is brilliant.

“I’m also thrilled that our new procurement policy means that there are many other economic and community benefits to this project through our contract with local developers Robert Woodhead Ltd.”

Tom Woodhead, Business Services Director for Robert Woodhead Ltd, said: “It is great to be involved in another Passivhaus designed project, which is the first for the council and fits with our own company goals of becoming a more environmentally friendly contractor.

“This scheme will deliver not only affordable homes, but homes that are sustainable, energy efficient and fit for the future. We are delighted to be in partnership with the council as we share the same aspirations of delivering developments that support local housing needs but also acknowledge and address the need to reduce their impact on the environment.”