UK Property Update: Affordable eco-homes showcased in North Norfolk

Broadland Housing A Broadland Housing Association community in rural North Norfolk has been showcased as a best practice example of designing energy efficiency into new homes.

They were highlighted during a tour of properties by North Norfolk District Council's strategic housing working group.

Old Forge Close, in the village of Trunch, three miles from North Walsham and Mundesley consists of five three bedroom family homes and five two bedroom bungalows, all of which are rented at affordable rates and managed by Broadland Housing Association.

All of the properties on the site were built using an advanced structural panel system designed by Kingspan Tek.

The panels contain rigid, high performance insulation which dramatically increases the thermal efficiency of the homes.

Solar panels have also been fitted to all the homes to provide hot water.

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The homes at Trunch were independently assessed under the EcoHomes environmental performance system and awarded a rating of "very good", exceeding the Government's requirement for all new developments funded through the Housing Corporation's National Affordable Housing Programme to achieve a 'pass' rating.

The homes also achieved an energy rating of 100 under the Government's Standard Assessment Procedure.

SAP is based on energy costs for space and water heating and the average rating for domestic buildings is 72.

The residents at Old Forge Close, who moved into their homes in March 2006, are taking part in a 12 month programme to monitor the actual costs of their heating and water bills.

Michael Newey, Chief Executive of Broadland Housing Association, said: "Our objective is to provide our tenants with homes that are affordable in every possible way. That includes reducing the cost of running a home by maximising its energy efficiency. Micro generation systems like solar panels are one of a range of technologies with the potential to make a big difference to day to day costs for our tenants.

"They also play an important part in making new homes more sustainable. As the demand for more affordable housing increases, particularly in our region, we are committed to reducing the impact of new developments on the environment. I am delighted Broadland residents are benefiting from this technology and that our scheme has been highlighted by North Norfolk District Council's strategic housing working group."

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