Yet, as well as updating current homes, many organisations and businesses are considering how residential properties that we are building now will be ready for the 2050 pledge – and, importantly, how to construct these homes using low-carbon materials and methods.

Almost 40% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are from the buildings and construction sector. Yet, by expanding the use of recycled and more environmentally friendly building materials, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests that the sector has great potential to adapt and tackle the climate emergency.

Simon Crichton, who leads on lending to sustainable development projects at Triodos Bank UK, echoed these ideas: “In order to reach the government’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need our new homes to be of the highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards, both in use and in construction.”

Some property developers are paving the way in constructing these forward-thinking residential homes, including Triodos Bank lending customer Ssassy Property.

Delivering 2050 carbon goals in 2020

Ssassy Property creates highly sustainable projects in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley, which aim to provide high quality homes while benefitting local communities and the environment.

Its latest development is Springfield Meadows, located near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. The zero-carbon project is due to be completed mid-2021 and has recently received a finance package from Triodos Bank UK as the bank looks to back more eco-residential projects in the UK.

Springfield Meadows is thought to be one of the UK’s most sustainable residential property development projects. It uses a zero-carbon construction method and will be net-zero energy when occupied by homeowners. The project has been recognised by charity Bioregional as a One Planet Living global leader, and has developed a unique partnership with Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) to protect and enhance biodiversity post construction. In addition, the houses go beyond Passivhaus standards, delivering 2050 carbon goals in 2020.

Ssassy is working with Greencore Construction, which has developed its own ‘off-site’ building system called Biond, using hemp-lime panels and natural fibre insulation to deliver Passivhaus performance, and a zero-carbon footprint.

The 25 sustainable homes are powered by electricity that is generated by photo-voltaic solar panels – the energy can either be used straight away or stored in a battery. The houses also use mini heat pumps to generate heating and hot water, as well as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

Ssassy's Springfield Meadows properties during construction

Simon Crichton continued: “Ssassy’s Springfield Meadows project is a great example of how this level of sustainability planning and carbon-neutral construction can be made possible.”

“The bank has many years’ experience in lending to building projects with high environmental standards, however these have to date been public or commercial properties. It’s exciting to work with Ssassy to make our first UK loan to Bioregional-endorsed, private residential properties and we hope to finance similar projects in the future.”

“Both our businesses have shared values in being both sustainable and ethical which is fundamental to what we do,” adds Paddy Thompson, chief finance officer at Ssassy Property. “The financing from Triodos allows us to complete this first of a kind project here at Springfield Meadows and contribute positively to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.”

The first homeowners at Springfield Meadows are due to move in later this year – and Ssassy Property is now actively looking at other projects to create more zero carbon homes in the region.

About Ssassy Property

Ssassy Property delivers highly sustainable and beautifully designed projects in its home patch of Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. Its philosophy is to ensure its schemes are beneficial to local communities and the environment.

Find out more about Ssassy’s Springfield Meadows project

Why we finance ecological development projects

Triodos Bank UK finances a number of eco-build private housing for co-housing groups, communities and organisations, such as the Dormont Estate.

We fund restoration and construction of innovative and sustainable design, and in doing so, limit the negative impact of building on the environment and society.

Visit our ecological development page to find out more.

On 30 July 2020, this article was corrected to show that this was Triodos Bank UK's first lending to private residential properties with the Bioregional One Planet Living endorsement, rather than simply its first lending to private, eco-build properties.