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Loyn & Co wins planning for ‘true’ net-zero carbon community in Wales

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Loyn & Co has won planning permission for one of world’s first ‘true’ net-zero carbon neighbourhoods, to be built in south Wales

Developer Sero Homes will construct the 35 homes on a scrubland site in Pontardawe and rent them out on long-term, index-linked tenures.

According to the practice, the homes at Parc Hadau will have a net-zero embodied carbon primary structure, with cross-laminated timber beams off-setting emissions from low carbon concrete used for the foundations and thermal mass. Loyn & Co was shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize for Outhouse, a private home in Gloucestershire.

The buildings will be designed to encourage low energy use, and will have solar panels and ground source heat pumps, as well as thermal and electrical storage.

The homes will also calculate the real-time carbon emissions of electricity drawn from the National Grid during peak times, making sure they are balanced out by onsite electricity generation.

Unlike other developments, the monitoring considers the variation in carbon emissions according to when households draw power from the grid – for instance, the National Grid has lower carbon emissions on sunny, windy days than during calm, winter nights.

The £8 million development has received £2.4 million of funding from the Welsh government’s Innovative Housing Programme.

The scheme comprises 11 two-bed homes, 22 three-bed homes and two four-bed homes. It will also include a large communal garden and a community building for the residents.

Work will start on site in spring, with residents expected to move in during summer 2021.

 Developer’s view

The principles underpinning our vision for housing are simple: people’s homes should minimise the harm done to our planet and they shouldn’t cost the earth to run.

The current housing market is failing to achieve this, and Parc Hadau will bring to life, at scale, this vision for better homes for future generations.

The climate-change agenda may have gathered pace in recent years and months, demonstrated by UK government net-zero carbon emissions targets for 2050, but the answers to these huge challenges are needed right now.

Parc Hadau will be an international exemplar of what great places to live can look like, and we hope will be one of many opportunities for us to create new neighbourhoods across the UK that enable more people access to great quality, zero-carbon homes at a time when they are needed most.

James Williams, managing director of Sero Homes

1912 parc hadau watercolour perspective 3 cropped 2000x1390

1912 parc hadau watercolour perspective 3 cropped 2000x1390

Source: Loyn & Co

Project data

Client Yr Hadau Ltd (Sero Homes)
Architect Loyn + Co
Landscape architect Farrer Huxley
Planning consultant DPP Planning
Structural engineer Quad Consult
Quantity surveyor Blake Morgan
CDM adviser Quad Consult
Highways/transport Vectos
Funding Welsh Government Innovative Housing Programme £2.4 million
Start on site date Targeting April 2020
Completion date Targeting April-July 2021
Contract duration 12-15 months (still being finalised)
Gross internal floor area 35 homes, totalling circa 3,200m²
Form of contract and/or procurement being finalised, most likely JCT design and build
Annual CO2 emissions zero emissions (or less) in operation, demonstrated by live ongoing emissions tracking via Sero Energy
Total cost Circa £8 million

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