Cherry Tree Close, Wortham

Cherry Tree Close, Wortham
Building typeDomestic
Building Agepost 2000
Location IP22 1QR
Cost of work
DistrictMid Suffolk
FeaturesSolar Hot Water Heating,Solar PV Panels,Air Source Heat Pumps,Biomass Boiler,Insulation and Glazing,Ventilation Systems

Introduction

Greenright Homes is a Suffolk-based property developer specialising in building high quality, sustainable residential properties incorporating renewable, low carbon heating systems.

Design on this project was undertaken by the Whitworth Co-Partnership, 18 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1NE, under the strategic guidance of Dr Simon C Bennett, Founder and Managing Partner of Greenright Homes.  Eco-system design was undertaken by RenEnergy Limited, Woodbastwick Road, Blofield Heath, Norfolk, NR13 4RR.

Cherry Tree Close is a housing development on a 1.5 acre site in the centre of the north Suffolk village of Wortham consisting of the conversion of a 16th century timber-framed cottage and the construction of nine new build houses, ranging in size from two to five bedrooms. More information about this development can be found at http://www.greenrighthomes.co.uk/future-projects.html

This development has the full support of the local Parish Council as it is believed that it will contribute considerably to the sustainability of the village, the local primary school, the public house, the post office/shop and the already vibrant village sports club (tennis, football and cricket).

The houses have been designed in the Suffolk vernacular style with a variety of roof pitches and tiles and elevations (brick, brick and flint, painted in pastel colours on rendered walls, weatherboarded, etc.).  All the houses have been constructed to the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) Level 4 (even though this is not yet a requirement or planning condition) and Association of Chief Police Officers' Secured by Design (SBD) Code.  Each house is equipped with a Daikin air-source heat pump and Viessmann in-roof solar thermal panels serving an iCon Intelligent Control System programmable under-floor heating system.  All but two of the houses also have Regavent whole-house heat recovery systems, whilst four of the properties with south-facing garage roofs have in-roof Sanyo solar photo-voltaic systems fitted.  The two largest houses also have rainwater harvesting systems.  Heat pumps are run on the Economy 18 tariff structure (available at present only from E.ON).

Sustainability Features

The deployment of the renewable heating systems and eco-solutions described above, coupled with high standards of insulation, makes a substantial contribution to reducing operating costs of the houses, and to reducing carbon emissions.

For example, the total estimated annual running costs for the as-built central heating systems in the ten properties is £2,100 in comparison with £6,200 for oil-fired boilers or £7,250 for gas-fired boilers (fuel prices correct at June 2011).  Additionally, the total carbon emissions from the central heating systems of all ten properties is estimated to be 10 tonnes in comparison with 28 tonnes for oil-fired boilers, 20 tonnes for gas-fired boilers and 42 tonnes for an all-electric heating solution.  These carbon emission levels could be reduced further if a renewable source of electricity supply (from a company such as Ecotricity or Good Energy) could be secured and, consequently, discussions with these companies about them offering an Economy 18 tariff structure suited to heat pumps are ongoing.

Estimated Energy Performance scores for the houses range from 78 to 90 with Environment Impact Ratings (carbon emissions) all in Category B.

Building to the Code for Sustainable Homes, Level 4, also drives other important behavioural changes.  For example, the houses have all been designed for low emissions, home working and secure bicycle storage.  Energy display devices (smart meters) have been deployed and drying spaces provided rather than electric tumble dryers.  All white goods are energy labelled and high efficiency (A+) and low energy, long life LED lighting has been extensively fitted.  Water consumption is restricted by using restricted flush WCs, small baths and restriction orifices in showers.

Building materials have been responsibly sourced and the main contractor has operated a strict recycling programme.  The use of factory-made timber frame structures, already pre-fitted with insulation, means that on site wastage of materials is minimised.

The ecological value of the site has been specially protected during construction and will be enhanced by extensive native planting (hedges, trees, etc.) on completion.  Wildlife has been encouraged through the provision of bat and bird boxes, creating access through fences for reptiles, small animals, etc., and the creation of a pond.

Delivering a project in an environmentally friendly way is not possible without the co-operation of contract companies and their employees.  Contractors are members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and, most importantly, are all companies local to East Anglia.  This means that wealth is created and kept in the local economy and community and carbon emissions from transportation to and from site is minimised.  Similarly, all consultants (architects, engineers, surveyors, estate agent, etc.) are local to the immediate area.

Greenright Homes is a member of the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Cambridge Cleantech.

Design Process

The site was acquired with outline Planning Permission already in place.  The detailed design of the houses was undertaken by the architect with the Wortham Village Design Statement (a document produced by the Parish Council to guide developers and house owners) in mind.  In particular, The Parish Council was helpful in persuading the Planning Officer that steeply-pitched roofs and a wide variety of finishes to elevations and roof tiling was appropriate to match the style of the Suffolk vernacular.

Grants

None sought.

Green Lifestyle

The future tenants or owners of the buildings will determine the green lifestyle of the development.  However, it is fair to say that there has been considerable interest from potential customers in the installed eco-systems and insulation levels, and the features installed to achieve Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.  Increasingly, with rising energy prices, customers are seeking efficient, low running cost houses.

Evaluation

Occupation of the development will commence in Spring 2012, whereupon further evaluation of the eco-credentials can be carried out.  The development will be used as a Case Study by Daikin (manufacturers of the air-source heat pumps), by the University of East Anglia, Low Carbon MBA Programme, and in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Green Economy Pathfinder report to HM Government (April 2012).

Suppliers and professional services used

  • Architects – The Whitworth Co-Partnership, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • Main Contractor – Baker Construction, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • Eco-Systems Contractor – RenEnergy Ltd., Blofield Heath, Norfolk
  • Civil Engineers – Bingham Hall, Attleborough, Norfolk
  • Structural Engineers – Adam Power Associates – Banham, Norfolk and Rickinghall, Suffolk
  • Landscaping Design – Roger Gladwell Landscaping, Dennington, Suffolk
  • Estate Agents – Lacy, Scott and Knight, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • Guarantees and Warranties, Code and SAP Assessments, Building Regulations, etc.- Premier Guarantee, Birkenhead, Wirral
  • Local Authority – Mid Suffolk District Council, Needham Market, Suffolk

Awards

Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards: National Winner - Environmental Development of the Year 2012

See all entries under Suffolk Case Studies

Where is this case study?

52.350 1.059