Lending from Triodos Bank UK, the sustainable bank, has enabled the creation of 25 zero-carbon homes that have just been completed in Southmoor, Oxfordshire.
Springfield Meadows is thought to be one of the UK’s most sustainable residential property development projects. Benefitting from shared outdoor spaces and private gardens, it consists of 25 high-performance homes (9 affordable and 16 private houses), using a zero-carbon construction method which also delivers net-zero energy. All of the homes, developed by Ssassy Property, are now sold and occupied.
Greencore Construction, the building contractor, has developed its own ‘off-site’ building system called Biond, using hemp-lime panels and natural wood fibre insulation to deliver Passivhaus performance, and a better-than-zero carbon footprint.
This method has been combined with other sustainable development principles – including Bioregional’s One Planet Living certification – to produce houses that sequester more carbon than they emit and generate more energy than they use.
The homes have been independently validated by WSP, the leading engineering professional services consultants, which has assessed a typical Greencore Home at Springfield Meadows. If you extrapolate the data from this report, the carbon footprint for a 100m house is -27.8 tonnes (thereby better than carbon neutral) compared to +120 tonnes for an average ‘brick and block’ house of the same size.
The development has also been created with the needs of the community in mind, including an electric car club. An orchard and wildlife pond has been designed in partnership with the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), which will monitor the wildlife and biodiversity of the project for the next five years and report back to the residents. All residents were given BBOWT complimentary membership when they moved into their new house.
The project is the winner of 11 awards – including the OxProp Best Residential Housing Development 2021 and Property Development of the Year at the 2021 Property Investor Awards – and has been shortlisted for a further five.
Paul Nicoll, regional team manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “If we’re to reach the UK’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we urgently need our new homes to be of the highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards. By supporting projects such as Springfield Meadows, we’re helping to provide people with high-quality, community-focussed homes, while also working to decarbonise the housing sector. This is a key focus for Triodos as we make progress towards being a net-zero bank by 2035.”
James Pritchett, communications manager at Greencore Construction, said:“We’re incredibly proud to build what we believe are the most sustainable homes in the country. We know that there’s a real desire in the local Oxfordshire community for zero-carbon housing, and Springfield Meadows is an exemplary example of building beautiful homes with sustainability at their core.”
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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.
Ssassy’s Springfield Meadows project of 25 eco-homes has been recognised by Bioregional as having One Planet Living status. The project is thought to be the UK’s most sustainable residential project.
About Greencore Construction
Greencore Construction was set up in 2013 by Ian Pritchett and Martin Pike with aims to build high-performance, low-carbon buildings using sustainable and bio-based materials including hemp, lime, and timber. Today, Greencore combines a strong scientific approach with pragmatic and practical delivery using an experienced team.
Greencore plans to deliver 1,000 Climate Positive houses in the South of England over the next five years, growing turnover from £5m to around £50m in 2025. Its current project, Springfield Meadows near Oxford, consists of 25 houses which have saved around 2,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions during construction and will save around 125 Tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. This represents a saving of over 6,000 Tonnes of CO2 by 2050 compared to standards homes. Its residents enjoy low energy extra bills through a combination of great insulation, triple glazed windows, great air-tightness and highly efficient solar panels
About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 67 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.
Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.