Lamborough Hill Sustainable Homes - the Environment Centre (tEC)

Lamborough Hill, Wootton, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
The development is located in the hamlet of Lamborough Hill, and consists of four high quality homes that were designed to be sustainable. The development used local craftsmen and tradesmen from the local area in the south east. The developers, Sweetcroft Homes, completed the scheme in February 2009.

Challenges Encountered
Whilst the homes are more expensive to construct, they have lower running costs than many properties and so could be more attractive to buyers.

Passive Measures
In order to be cost-effective and to reduce the use of fossil fuel energy types, the buildings were designed to maximise solar gain. This lowers the need for high energy consumption. An energy assessor was consulted with on this matter. To maximise solar gain, the main living areas are positioned on the south side of a property with larger windows to allow sunlight to provide heat. Small windows were positioned on the north side of the properties to minimise heat loss, thus increasing the efficiency of the homes. Using less water reduces the cost of running the homes, as well as easing pressure on water resources which can become low in the south east in summer months. In these homes, Sweetcroft Homes included aerated taps and dual flush toilets.

Technologies Employed
Two renewable energy technologies were used in the houses. Firstly, Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) were installed, which supply heat for underfloor heating to the ground and first floors of each property. In addition, wood-burning stoves were fitted in the living room of each home. Provided that wood is sourced locally, this is a low carbon method of heating. Although burning wood results in carbon emissions, when the trees are growing carbon dioxide is being taken in.

Awards and Achievements
Using local materials and tradesmen meant that the construction of the homes was beneficial to the economy of the local area. It is estimated that the homes will emit just 25% of the average carbon emissions of properties of this size.

Links / Contact Details
Sweetcroft Homes Page last updated: 23 August 2010
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