Angus housing development wins sustainability award in UK first
A development by housebuilder Scotia Homes featuring new homes all heated from non-fossil fuel sources has been recognised as one of the most sustainable in the UK.
The Aberdeenshire-based firm is the first housebuilder in the UK to receive a Gold Award from the NextGeneration Initiative – launched by Lloyds Banking Group - for its new housing development Brechin West.
The benchmarking platform was expanded this year to assess the sustainability of individual developments and Scotia were commended for helping to meet low carbon targets.
All 152 houses are fitted with air source heat pumps – a sustainable method of central heating which converts energy from the outside air into heat.
This type of efficient heating, combined with modern building specifications and the use of energy saving materials, can reduce energy bills by up to £2,000 - compared with residents living in older properties.
Amongst the other criteria assessed, the development exceeded expectations to enhance biodiversity by more than 20% - with an overall net gain of more than 40% through the implementation of their Biodiversity Action Plan.
This was achieved by enhancing the existing woodland, significantly increasing the native hedging and adding orchards, allotments and more useable green spaces for all.
Scotia Homes was also recognised for their commitment to inclusive economic development, providing more than the Real Living Wage for all site employees.
The company also recruited 10% of their workforce as apprentices or graduates, as part of a drive to get more graduates, trainees, and apprentices to join the industry,
Scotia Homes’ projects director, Joe Boyle, said: “We recognise the contribution we need to make to create a more sustainable housing market, now more than ever.
“Ensuring we go above and beyond to deliver developments with sustainability at their heart has benefits for all, not least for our customers who benefit from reduced energy costs.
“This closely aligns with our vision to become the developer of choice for all, whether that’s our customers, employees or stakeholders and we believe this accolade demonstrates our commitment to that vision.
“Being the first housing developer in the UK to be awarded the NextGeneration Project Gold is a source of immense pride for all at Scotia.
“We look forward to entering more of our developments for assessment over the coming months.”
Scored independently by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) and launched in 2006, the NextGeneration Initiative recognises the UK’s most sustainable housebuilders who go above and beyond the industry’s minimum standards for sustainability.
Previously reserved for the UK’s top 25 housebuilders, the benchmarking system was expanded this year to allow small to mid-size housebuilders to measure their sustainability and that of their individual developments.