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UK's first carbon negative social housing development unveiled
1:52pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Business
A revolutionary eco housing development is being launched in the region.
Four Housing Group said its new social housing street in South Shields is the first of its kind in the UK - boasting carbon negative homes which generate more energy than they need.
The innovative site is designed to cut the carbon footprint created by the site by offsetting considerably more carbon dioxide than it produces in its own lifetime.
The Sinclair Meadows development is home to one of the largest array of photovoltaic panels on domestic dwellings in the country which reduces demand on traditional energy resources and exports any excess energy back to the grid.
The 21 properties have been built using natural materials wherever possible, such as timber frames, hemp insulation and lime render. The heating and hot water will be provided by a communal biomass boiler which will use recycled timber fuel pellets and a rainwater harvesting system will cut the amount of mains water used by the residents.
Dawn Keightley, director of operations, at the not-for-profit housing provider, said: "Sinclair Meadows is unique because it is the first purpose built and designed carbon negative housing scheme on this scale that, within three years of being built, has the ability to remove its own carbon footprint created during construction. Once the development has reached the end of its useful life, the majority of the materials will be reusable, recyclable and biodegradable."
The completed homes have energy monitoring systems installed. These allow the occupiers to see the energy that they are using at any one time, and to make informed decisions about reducing their energy use and saving money.
Tenants will be trained in how to be energy efficient in their new homes so they have the opportunity to minimise their energy use and maximise savings. Four Housing Group will monitor the energy supplies and will be there to offer advice to residents.
The houses will also generate significant revenue returns under the Government's energy efficiency incentives, including the feed in tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive.