How do you Build Zero Energy Homes?

Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner, tweeted that the plans unveiled by CEWales member Sero Homes were exactly the kind of homes she hopes Wales can deliver. What do you think? Is it too low for zero or not? Find out

Wales-based zero carbon housebuilder Sero Homes has unveiled plans for its first project, a new neighbourhood comprising around 35 carbon neutral homes situated in Pontardawe, South Wales.

Sero Homes has begun local engagement in relation to the scheme, known as Parc Hadau, which is proposed for a scrubland site allocated for housing in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's Local Development Plan.

The contemporary scheme has been designed by Penarth-based award-winning architect practice Loyn & Co and incorporates extensive landscaping by nationally renowned Farrer Huxley Associates, to encourage better integration of nature and wildlife into the new community.

The innovative new net zero carbon homes will use low energy building design, as well as incorporate a mix of renewable energy, storage and intelligent, automated management systems (that will be managed by Sero Homes' sister company, Sero Energy), to reduce the amount of energy being used, with any unused electricity being fed back into the Grid. The scheme will also promote active travel and each home will be equipped for electric vehicle charging, with an overall effect of being 'energy positive' smart homes.

James Williams, managing director of Sero Homes said:
"The Government is increasingly taking notice of the climate change agenda, demonstrated by last week's announcement of a UK net zero carbon emissions target for 2050. We are delivering the answers to these huge challenges right now and are keen to find more opportunities to create new neighbourhoods that will allow more people access to great quality, zero carbon homes for themselves and their families to enjoy.

"Socially responsible investing is becoming increasingly important, and as part of our ambitious growth plans, we are already actively engaging and supporting landowners who wish to see globally responsible development brought forward on their land. This includes options for developing with only long leasehold ownership, as well as joint ventures with the landowner and more common overage deals."

Based on a model more common on the continent, Sero Homes is proposing that the purpose-built homes will be available through long-term, index-linked tenures, addressing the need for quality, affordability and long-term security for residents within the growing private rental sector, and avoiding the barrier of high deposits which prevent people from getting on the property ladder.
Andy Sutton, Director of Design and Innovation at Sero Homes said:

"We're really excited to be sharing Parc Hadau for early feedback from the community – these new homes show our ambition to redefine what everyone should be able to expect from every new home. We believe that helping to build communities with true zero carbon, great quality homes that cohabit with nature should be what we all are asking for from our housing, what we all deserve, and what we should all be able to afford."