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Pioneering Passivhaus Scheme is double Award winner!


One of Europe’s largest Passivhaus affordable housing schemes, Heathcott Road, Leicester has won two regional industry awards.

Designed by multi-disciplinary architectural practice, rg+p, Heathcott Road won in the Residential category at the RICS East Midlands Awards and was Project of the Year – Building Projects at the East Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards. Both awards are held annually to celebrate the region’s best properties and talented professionals who make the East Midlands a fantastic place to live, work and visit. Heathcott Road was recognised for its regeneration of a 13.3 acre former allotment site into a £7m eco-home community.

The RICS judges commented: “This outstanding residential development encapsulates all that is good in modern site and space planning in terms of style as well as both community creation and internal, flexible design. All whilst achieving outstanding energy efficiency through its Passivhaus status and clever surface water management.”

Heathcott Road is situated off Saffron Lane towards the south of Leicester city centre, and was a community-led partnership between emh group, Westleigh Partnerships Ltd, Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council (SLNC) and Leicester City Council. rg+p prepared the scheme’s design, which included 68 affordable homes together with permaculture farm, flower meadow and open green space.

All the new homes are outstandingly sustainable and feature high levels of insulation, controlled ventilation and increased glazing to deliberately designed south facing living rooms. In the surrounding environment, rg+p ensured total integration between the new homes and the permaculture farm through the provision of a flower meadow, rejuvenation of field ponds, reinstating of hedgerows and fruit tree planting. Residents are encouraged to work and grow their own fruit, vegetables and supplies on the farm.

Architect, Rob Grewcock of rg+p said: “The scale of the development is what makes it so innovative and unique. Passivhaus standards are used in affordable housing throughout the UK, but none to this scale. A great deal of consideration went into creating a successful scheme that will benefit the residents of today and the future. We’re exceptionally proud it has been recognised with two awards.”

Giv Corbo, business development manager, Westleigh commented: “This project will bring 13 acres of disused allotments back into community use, offering high-quality, much needed affordable homes within the City which will have a minimal impact on the environment and the householders’ energy bills and also on the adjacent SLNC community project.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Leicester City Council, SLNC and emh group on the scheme at Saffron Acres and we look forward to receiving more positive feedback from the new residents. Receiving these prestigious awards is a great testament to all the designers involved; Ridge, the employer’s agents; and our site team, who were able to deliver this project on budget and on programme”

Jim Patman, executive director of development, emh group added: “We were delighted when Leicester City Council approached us to be the affordable homes partner in this exemplar development. The creation of future-proof energy efficient homes is part of our environmental strategy, and we are extremely proud to be a part of this flagship scheme in the city.”

Phil Welham, partner at project managers and employer’s agent, Ridge concluded: “Ridge is delighted to be part of this great team with emh group that has so successfully delivered such an important and innovative Passivhaus affordable housing scheme for the local community in Leicester.”

As an RICS regional award winner, Heathcott Road will now go forward to the National Grand Final, which takes place on Thursday 2nd November at the InterContinental Hotel on London’s Park Lane. The event will be hosted by BBC Breakfast anchor, Dan Walker.

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