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The zero-carbon neighbourhood that will power itself entirely by solar

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Britain’s ultimate zero-carbon neighbourhood is being built in Oxfordshire, with prices starting at a touch above £1million. 

The eco-friendly homes are being powered solely by electricity generated from roof-fitted solar panels, with batteries to store surplus power for later use.

The properties will also have mechanical ventilation and mini heat pumps to run their heating and produce hot water.

The timber-clad homes will need virtually no heating or cooling, thanks to their energy-efficient design which follows the so-called ‘Passivhaus’ standard.

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Britain's first zero-carbon houses, pictured in this artist's impression, are being built in Oxfordshire, with prices starting at around one million pounds

Britain’s first zero-carbon houses, pictured in this artist’s impression, are being built in Oxfordshire, with prices starting at around one million pounds

WHAT IS PASSIVHAUS?

Passivhaus is a voluntary standard for energy efficient buildings, based on power consumption and air leakage.

It was developed in the late eighties and early nineties by German and Sweden scientists Wolfgang Feist and Bo Adamson.

 Techniques used to meet the standard including orienting compact layouts, to reduce surface area through which heat could be lost, the use of super-insulation and low energy electrical appliances and lighting. 

According to developer Ssassy Property, the eco-friendly homes are around 30 years ahead of the Government’s 2050 zero-carbon target. 

The company claims they are the first in the country to produce no polluting carbon dioxide at all. 

Buyers can choose to customise their house’s layouts, kitchens and bathrooms beyond the standard template. 

Each home will be constructed from natural, sustainable materials and will come with an electric vehicle charging point. 

Twenty-five of the eco-friendly homes are being constructed near the village of Southmoor, Oxfordshire, in a 7.7 acre development dubbed ‘Springfield Meadows’.

Of the planned properties, eight custom-built plots have already been purchased — with the ones remaining on the market retailing for more than £1 million.

‘We think this is the first development of zero-carbon, net zero-energy houses in the country,’ said Ian Pritchess, director of Ssassy Property and Greencore Construction.

‘Our houses are all electric and generate electricity from photovoltaic panels, which can be stored in a battery or used as it is generated.’

‘We combine this with mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and mini heat pumps to generate the heating and hot water.’

The homes being built need virtually no heating or cooling as they are built to the ‘Passivhaus’ model — a voluntary, German-derived standard for energy efficiency.

Photovoltaic solar panels are placed on the roof to generate energy.

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The eco-friendly homes are being powered solely by electricity generated from roof-fitted solar panels, with batteries to store surplus power for later use

The eco-friendly homes are being powered solely by electricity generated from roof-fitted solar panels, with batteries to store surplus power for later use

According to developer Ssassy Property, the eco-friendly homes are around 30 years ahead of the Government’s 2050 zero-carbon target

According to developer Ssassy Property, the eco-friendly homes are around 30 years ahead of the Government’s 2050 zero-carbon target

The properties will also have mechanical ventilation and mini heat pumps to run their heating and produce hot water. The timber-clad homes will need virtually no heating or cooling, thanks to their energy-efficient design which follows the so-called 'Passivhaus' standard

The properties will also have mechanical ventilation and mini heat pumps to run their heating and produce hot water. The timber-clad homes will need virtually no heating or cooling, thanks to their energy-efficient design which follows the so-called ‘Passivhaus’ standard

‘Unfortunately, the Government relaxed the proposed 2016 zero-carbon targets after being lobbied by housebuilders,’ added Mr Pritchess.

‘At present, the main housebuilding corporations control the land and only build at the rate they are sure will sell, maintaining the UK’s housing shortage so that the normal rules of “supply and demand” don’t apply.’

‘When there is a shortage of housing, buyers have to purchase what is available rather than what they might want.’

Twenty-five of the eco-friendly homes are being constructed near the village of Southmoor, Oxfordshire, in a 7.7 acre development dubbed 'Springfield Meadows'

Twenty-five of the eco-friendly homes are being constructed near the village of Southmoor, Oxfordshire, in a 7.7 acre development dubbed ‘Springfield Meadows’

Buyers can choose to customise their house's layouts, kitchens and bathrooms beyond the standard template

Buyers can choose to customise their house’s layouts, kitchens and bathrooms beyond the standard template

Of the planned properties, eight custom-built plots have already been purchased — with the ones remaining on the market retailing for more than £1 million

Of the planned properties, eight custom-built plots have already been purchased — with the ones remaining on the market retailing for more than £1 million

According to Mr Pritchess, current planning legislation and building regulations do not favour the construction of zero-carbon houses.

‘In any sensible society, we would expect the planning system to actively encourage zero-carbon houses and be tough on anyone failing to deliver the necessary standard,’ he added.

‘Instead, we have a planning system that focuses other issues such as numbers of bedrooms, garden sizes, and parking places.’

‘These are important issues, but they pale into insignificance compared to the catastrophic implications of climate change.’

‘The planning process could be the answer to the problem if only someone had the sense to make real sustainability part of the process.’

'We think this is the first development of zero-carbon, net zero-energy houses in the country,' said Ian Pritchess, director of Ssassy Property and Greencore Construction

‘We think this is the first development of zero-carbon, net zero-energy houses in the country,’ said Ian Pritchess, director of Ssassy Property and Greencore Construction

The homes being built need virtually no heating or cooling as they are built to the 'Passivhaus' model — a voluntary, German-derived standard for energy efficiency

The homes being built need virtually no heating or cooling as they are built to the ‘Passivhaus’ model — a voluntary, German-derived standard for energy efficiency

 

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