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New eco-houses become homes

Passivehaus development
Councillor Gail Harris visits Goldsmith Street this week.
Published on Friday, 1st February 2019

The first residents are settling into their new homes at Norwich City Council’s award winning Goldsmith Street development in Norwich.

The first residents are settling into their new homes at Norwich City Council’s award winning Goldsmith Street development in Norwich.

And with the latest tranche of properties recently completed, Councillor Gail Harris, cabinet member with responsibility for social housing, joined prospective tenants at viewings this week.

The properties are being let through the council’s choice based lettings scheme, Home Options.

As well as being a rare example of new council housing being built in the UK, all homes are being built to eco-efficient Passivhaus standards – ultra-low energy buildings which need minimal fuel for heating or cooling. Tenants moving in will also enjoy the added benefit of cheaper fuel bills thanks to the eco-technology.

Designed by architects Mikhail Riches, this scheme is currently one of the largest developments of Passivhaus properties in the country, and has attracted national praise for its innovative design.

Enjoying her first visit to the scheme since tenants began moving in, Cllr Harris, said: “I’m delighted to see families forming this new neighbourhood at Goldsmith Street.

“It has been fantastic to meet some of the applicants and hear their stories, which have shown the real difference these new homes will make.

“This development demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality social housing and I’m especially proud of these properties’ eco-credentials which will benefit residents as well as the environment.”

One of the successful applicants viewing the properties, Kylie Murrell, said: “This is the new start our family has been waiting for.

“Moving to this house will mean my husband and I can focus on the health needs of our little boy, and I’ll be closer to work. We can’t wait to move in!”

The scheme, being built by R G Carter, consists of a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats and 2 and 4 bedroom houses and is due to be completed in full by this summer.

The Goldsmith Street design cleverly recreates the terraced streets in this area of the city that were removed in post-war clearance
When complete, the site will become the country’s largest Passivhaus scheme for social rent.

Properties built to ‘Passivhaus’ standard are the highest certifiable standard of energy efficiency, resulting in ultra-low energy buildings that need very little fuel for heating or cooling.

The heating costs in a Passivhaus can be up to 70 per cent cheaper compared to the average UK home.

Awards and accolades for the scheme include:

  • Housing Design Awards winner, 2016
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England Norfolk Awards 2018 – winner of the Green Build Award
  • The Times – named as one of the world’s top 10 best new examples of architecture for 2018