The Hertfordshire build’s performance data will be shared with the Government ahead of its new Future Homes Standard coming into force in 2025

Clarion Housing Group will embark on a landmark scheme to create seven highly energy efficient and affordable new homes in Cottered, East Herfordshire.

The project will see four vacant bungalows in the village redeveloped into seven terraced houses and bungalows by the social landlord, architect Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE) and contractor LIFE Build.

The two property types will feature different technologies, air tightness and energy performance.

The two housebuilding approaches are in line with the upcoming 2025 Future Homes Standard (FHS). Using the pilot scheme, Clarion will explore the process and costs to achieve FHS performance and will report its findings back to Government.

New residents of the highly energy efficient development – which will all be for affordable rent – will have warmer homes and cheaper energy bills than most older-built properties.

The five houses are being built using a ‘fabric-led’ approach and will feature a mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system and improved thermal performance. They will feature Mixergy smart hot water tanks, and a mix of electric radiators or infrared panels for heating.

The two bungalows will adopt a ‘technology-led’ approach using a mechanical extract ventilation (MEV) system to continuously extract air from the properties. Wet radiator systems will be powered by an air-source heat pump, which will provide hot water via a linked cylinder.

All seven homes, which are due to be completed in February 2024, will also include photovoltaic solar panels.

Once residents have moved into the finished homes, Clarion and PTE will run post-occupancy testing for one year to monitor the comfort and performance of the two property types – including temperature and humidity levels, ventilation and energy consumption.

The testing will also focus heavily on the resident experience, assessing if residents are maximising the performance of the homes and whether the technology is suited to their needs.

Richard Cook, group development director at Clarion Housing Group will report the post-occupancy performance data at Cottered to Government, which will publish its new Future Homes Standard in 2024.

The new building standard is set to come into force in 2025, when all new housing is required to be ‘zero carbon’ ready.

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