Creating net zero carbon homes
We have made timely progress in meeting the emerging expectations of the Future Homes Standard through our application of certified Passivhaus homes, Active Homes, and equivalent performance standards. We have reduced our scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40.4% and are achieving Biodiversity Gain standards in advance of the Environmental Act objectives. We are also increasing the use of onsite renewables and embracing sustainable modern methods of construction.
Zero carbon new homes
In readiness for the 2025 FHS requiring every new home in England to produce 75% to 80% less carbon emissions than those currently being built, we decided to design new schemes with an enhanced fabric first standard and integrated low-carbon electricity and air source heat pumps.
These dwellings will be zero carbon ready, by switching off fossil fuels, and become zero carbon as the grid decarbonises. Our early adoption of these good practice standards in 2021 has ensured we can manage the FHS trajectories effectively.
Agar Grove Passivhaus and Active Homes
In 2020, we trialled and adopted a range of certified Passivhaus and Active Homes, and equivalent performance
standards, research and development schemes.
Each example is achieving the 75% to 80% reductions in low to high-density homes and apartments. This practical delivery experience, and the ongoing Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) at eight schemes, is providing us with invaluable knowledge and gives us confidence that we will meet the FHS in advance of its introduction in 2025.
Fish Island Village Energy Efficient Homes
Our increasingly energy-efficient new homes not only provide comfortable living through the seasons and mitigate overheating, they also help reduce residents’ bills by up to £2,600 per annum. In 2023 we will continue our collaboration with the FHH to help quantify the new sustainable homes premium for climate-proofed places and homes.
Taking Care of Our Natural Resources
We create inspiring award-winning places for people to live, work and play in. Through landscape-led placemaking, we aim to create a sense of place, foster community, improve well-being and promote a better quality of life.
We want to give our residents a sense of connection to the places they live in, where they can be close to nature and amenities, such as nurseries, shops, and sustainable transport options.
We create communities that reflect their own unique identity in response to their social and cultural heritage and character. During the year, we adopted and applied the Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) design tool across four new garden suburbs and regeneration schemes to help create places that are better for people and nature.
Knights Park, Cambridge
Knights Park is an exemplar sustainable housing development located to the north of Cambridge and developed as part of the University of Cambridge’s Eddington masterplan. The development consists of 264 apartments, townhouses and family homes, and is built to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. Its district heating system provides low-carbon heat and hot water to all homes on the development, significantly reducing carbon emissions compared to traditional development.
Heartwood, an individually designed development of two, three and four-bedroom homes is a response to local needs that complements the local character and respects the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Despite the existing land use being of low agricultural value, an existing pond, woodland, and hedgerow edges have merit and have been kept and enhanced with complementary ecological and biodiverse improvements. The pond forms the centre of the community as a place to meet and enjoy, and it also provides a sustainable urban drainage system.
Reducing our Scope 1 and 2 business operations
We aim to reach net zero carbon in our Scope 1 and 2 business operations and the homes we build by 2030.
We achieved a 40.4% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2022, thanks to the introduction of efficient site measures and the move to green biofuels. We also purchased green renewable energy tariffs, pivoted towards a greener car fleet, and introduced a green salary sacrifice vehicle leasing scheme.
Our scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions, excluding completed homes energy in use, decreased by 31.15%. While homes completed during the period produced 0.92 t CO2 e per dwelling, we are working to reduce completed homes' energy in use through whole-life carbon and circular economy assessments on selected projects.