At Hill, we aim to minimise our impact on the environment and maximise the implementation of sustainable initiatives wherever possible by creating sustainable, high quality and environmentally friendly communities and developments.
As a company, our health, safety energy and environmental goals all share the same aim of protecting the environment. We continually assess our HSEE implications of our activities and actively seek the cooperation of our clients, contractors, suppliers and our employees in pollution prevention. Our company goals include:
In 2018 alone, Hill was able to:
Our new homes are created with residents’ wellbeing in mind, whether it is as simple as ensuring ample cycle parking and footpaths so they are able to have a sustainable commute and enjoy the area around their new home, to providing their new homes offer the highest standards in sustainable technology. We also ensure our developments encompass means to support and benefit biodiversity and the local wildlife – ecological strategies include using bat and bird boxes to encourage wildlife, as well as allowing for wildflowers to grow and retaining mature trees where possible.
Athena, winner of the Eco- Living Award at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2019, is a collection of new homes in Eddington, a new district in Cambridge developed by the University of Cambridge which is setting the standards in sustainable living. The houses and apartments at Athena have each been built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, and includes the following features as standard:
Homes at Athena also benefit from Eddington’s development-wide initiatives, which put residents’ quality of life at the forefront of the design.
Agar Grove is a multi-award winning development created for Camden Council as part of the London Borough of Camden’s Community Investment Programme. Its list of impressive accolades includes The Mayors Award for Sustainable and Environmental Planning and The Mayors Award for Good Growth at the London Planning Awards 2019 and the Sustainability Award at the New London Awards 2019. The development, which once complete will be the largest Passivhaus development in the UK, an innovative and internationally recognised building standard which results in high levels of energy efficiency and internal comfort including temperature, humidity and air quality.
To achieve a Passivhaus standard, the new homes at Agar Grove required an airtightness measurement of 0.6 Air Changes per House, or least at a pressure of 50 Pascals. The new homes delivered by Hill achieved a result of 0.5 air changes per hour which is above the required standard. The new homes include high levels of insulation and triple-glazed windows, which in addition to reducing energy consumption, reduces outgoings for residents, minimising fuel poverty. The homes also include a MVHR which ensures clean and filtered air is circulated and keeps the properties at a pleasant temperature year-round.
Virido in Cambridge is a collection of 208 zero-carbon homes created in partnership with Cambridge City Council. To ensure that the sustainable design was achievable, we trialled the innovative technologies in a concept house before Virido was constructed. The concept house saw a young family live rent and bill free in the house for 12 months after winning a competition, and in turn they provided regular feedback on the performance of the sustainable initiatives featured in their home.
Hill worked with a building research analyst from Leeds Beckett University to gather feedback from the concept house so that we could improve features in the larger Virido development to better suit family lifestyles. The feedback included adapting the MVHR specifications to make it more effective and quieter, modifying the glazing to reduce the potential of overheating in summer and including a clothes drying cupboard rather than the initial plan of a low level heater with rapid ventilation.
Heating bills were also dramatically reduced compared to the average UK home and conventional new builds, with average savings of 64%.
In addition to this, we implemented a building performance evaluation (BPE) programme which tested the buildings both prior to and post occupancy. This maximised learning and improvement and incorporated feedback loops throughout the entire construction process, guaranteeing that Virido delivered a high-quality sustainable product.
The concept house itself was awarded the Eco-Living Award at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards in 2015 and silver for Best Sustainable Development (Silver) at the WhatHouse? Awards 2015, while Virido also won the Eco-Living Award at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards in 2017.