Work has started on the first development of sustainable homes funded by the Development Bank of Wales’ discounted Green Homes Incentive.
A £1.2 million property development loan for Cardiff-based Wellspring Homes is being used to part-fund the build of eight sustainable homes at Pearson Way, Neath. Just minutes from the M4 corridor, the development will offer four 4-bedroom detached family homes alongside four 2-bedroom semi-detached properties. With an A Grade energy rating, all will be fitted with air source heat pumps and will be built using Hempcrete, a natural “better-than-zero-carbon” material.
As a breathable material made from a mixture of hemp and lime, Hempcrete allows more atmospheric carbon to be locked away in the material for the lifetime of the building than was used in its production and use. Its properties help to store and release heat from the building’s walls, limiting fluctuations in temperature and reducing energy use and its breathability means the walls release internal moisture, eliminating condensation and the associated mould growth.
Hadleigh Hobbs Is Managing Director of Wellspring Homes. He said: “As with all our developments, these properties in Neath will be offering the highest standard of future living, incorporating innovative construction methods. We are using the most sustainable materials available because Wales needs new homes that are well-built, beautiful to live in and which help our natural environment to thrive.
“From initial concept through to the final finishing touches, we are using local contractors who understand our ethos and we now also have the support of a funding partner who shares our commitment to increasing the number of more thermally efficient and lower carbon homes in Wales. The encouragement of the Development Bank coupled with their helpful approach and attractive lending terms means that we’ve now got the headroom and the confidence to scale-up and deliver more sustainable homes. ”
James Brennan of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Research shows that the operation of buildings accounts for around 30% of emissions in the UK, mainly from heating, cooling and electricity use. For new buildings, the embodied emissions from construction can account for up to half of the carbon impacts associated with the building over its lifecycle.
“This means that we have to address the construction methods used by new home developers and offer the financial support required to those that are prepared to make the change to help drive down carbon emissions. Hadleigh and the team at Wellspring Homes are a great example of the kind of developers that we want to support with our Green Homes Incentive. They really are leading a revolution in sustainable living.”
Funded by Welsh Government, the Green Homes Incentive is available on residential development loans from the Development Bank’s property development funds and includes a reduction in loan fees of up to 2%. Finance for up to 100% of building costs is available with interest rolled-up throughout the loan term. Eligibility will depend upon qualifying criteria that includes EPC A Rating/Passivhaus status, non-concrete structures and non-fossil fuel heating systems.