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Alliance Homes’ first Passivhaus homes take a step closer

Alliance Homes’ commitment to being a green and ethical business was strengthened last week as North Somerset Council and developers, Stonewood Homes exchanged a build lease agreement for 52 Passivhaus homes.

The new development, which will be marketed as Elm Grove, is located on land south of The Uplands in Nailsea.

Alliance agreed to buy 15 of these homes through a section 106 agreement as well as another five using Homes England funding. Alliance will be taking a mixture of two to four bed houses, as well as one and two bed bungalows, some of which will be adaptable to be accessible for those with mobility issues. Alliance’s homes will be available through Shared Ownership and for rent.

The new homes will be built to ensure they achieve full Passivhaus certification, the flagship standard for sustainable housing. To get this high level of certification the homes will have to be built with airtight construction methods, be highly insulated with high performance windows and feature a mechanical ventilation system that recovers heat. The homes will also feature solar panels and electrical vehicle charging.

Iain Lock, Alliance’s Director of Investments, said: “These homes will be our first to meet the stringent Passivhaus standard. Alliance is already committed to making sure that all new homes have an Energy Performance Certificate of A or higher, and these homes will surpass that. We want to push the boundaries of what social housing can deliver because homes that use less energy to keep warm not only lowers carbon, it also keeps our customers’ bills down.”

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for spatial planning, placemaking and economy, said: “I’m pleased that this scheme, which strengthens our strategic partnership with Alliance Homes, includes 40% affordable homes. This far exceeds the usual policy requirement of 30%. It’s important for local authorities to lead by example. Elm Grove will demonstrate that it is possible to deliver much-needed affordable housing for local people, while at the same time securing innovative design, quality and improved sustainability.”

The first homes are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.