One family will soon experience living in Nottingham’s ‘greenest’ and first modular property – designed and created by a city firm with the help of local authority funding.
A brownfield site on Lime Street in Bulwell will be home to the city’s (and the region’s) first sustainable modular assisted house, expected to be complete in spring 2015. Its foundations have been laid and outline planning permission granted; work will start on the site in August.
The new three-bed home is an innovative combination of three features 1. modular building technologies 2. high tech sustainable features and 3. special supported living innovations. Number 75 Lime Street – will look like a regular terrace from the front but will incorporate all of the highest level gadgetry – developed over the last six years. The house is the brain child of Mo Kelly who has 25 years’ experience in the sector and his team of eight at SASIE Limited – specialist renewable technology designers and installers.
Established in 2006 and based at Nottingham Science Park, SASIE started as a renewable energy installation business but evolved into designing its own technology and has even worked at the UK’s leading sustainable research centre BRE in Watford. The company is a pioneer in the low-carbon sector and designs, develops and installs renewable energy systems, using multiple technologies.
The new home will meet the highest sustainable standards, a Code 6 in the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) – the Government national standard to encourage continuous improvement in sustainable home building. CSH looks at the sustainability of a dwelling against nine different categories: energy/carbon; water; waste; materials; surface water run-off; and health and well-being, which have mandatory performance standards; and pollution; ecology; and management. Furthermore, the house is aiming to be Passivhaus certified, a ‘design and build’ standard that started in Germany in the 1990s, aiming to heat a house with just body-heat and the heat from appliances.
The Lime Street project is being made possible thanks to £66,000 of funding from the Nottingham Technology Grant Fund (N’Tech) and a provisional allocation of £180,000 from the D2N2 Growing Places Loan Fund. N’Tech grants are geared towards the growing life science, digital content and clean technology sectors, the N’Tech fund is run by Nottingham City Council and is focussed on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Greater Nottingham area.
Not only will the design of the Lime Street property be unique, it will be built with the help of nine young apprentices. Aged from 16 to 23 these have been employed through the Nottingham Apprenticeship Hub who will learn all the skills for the latest building technologies for on and offsite construction.
The home’s green credentials have been made possible by another local company Sym-Wall Building Technologies Limited who have designed and manufactured pioneering new wall panels. Working together, the two companies are developing highly insulated panels based around the Sym-Wall products, to be used in the house. Sym-Wall themselves benefitted from an N’Tech grant of £75,000 last year and use recycled material from coal-fired power stations. The house will be constructed in a modular form, with panels produced offsite in Sym-Wall’s Beeston factory and brought to site for rapid assembly. The materials used in the structure and high-performance insulation will help keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer.
Mo Kelly, SASIE’s Managing Director, commented: “This funding has provided us with the opportunity to build this property in my home town, and the house is really an innovation in UK home building in a number of key areas. The house will generate all energy requirements on-site from combined solar thermal and PV roof panels with a hybrid heat pump that SASIE is manufacturing. Its Assisted Living package will include a lift, wheelchair turning circles and alarms/alerts as part of the energy management system and will be built in, allowing people to be comfortable in their homes at all stages of their lives. This new home will also have underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting, solar thermal, ground/air source heat pumps, photovoltaics, with a system controller that learns what you need and when you need it.”
SASIE’s previous projects include The Upton Village Development, Northampton and a range of new-build and refurbishments to low-carbon standards. As well as investing in designing and installing new technologies SASIE is in the process of developing vocational support for installers and believe passionately in high-quality hands-on training. The company is the only UK representative for the development of a European recognised City & Guilds accredited renewable energy training course and is bringing practical Passivhaus training to Nottingham in June.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth at the City Council, said: “This project is exciting in many ways, from the innovative design and build methodology being used to build the house, to the fact that the project is using the city’s young people as apprentices to do the work. It really is a flagship project and one that, as one of the UK’s greenest cities, we’re very proud to support. Importantly, the project shows what house building could look like in the future, and it’s great that N’Tech is helping turn concepts like this into reality, and at the same time growing businesses and creating new jobs and skills.”
N’Tech is a core element of the Nottingham Growth Plan a blueprint for the city’s future business growth and one of the most ambitious strategies of the UK’s Core Cities. Measures introduced as part of the plan have played a key role in encouraging new business formation through various finance and support packages.
N’Tech grants are funded solely through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF). Nottingham City Council secured RGF from the Government for grants to help fast track development of businesses based in the city. The funding can provide grants of £20,000 to £1million per successful company to support growth and expansion.
The N’Tech fund has so far had 40 successful applications across the digital content, life sciences and clean technology sectors and awarded grants to the value £4.5 million with 845 jobs created and safeguarded. N’Tech closes to applications on 30 September 2014.