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New eco homes lifted in to help the homeless

New eco homes lifted in to help the homeless

Two new eco-homes are ready for tenants who were previously homeless in a landmark development for the future of social housing in Waverley.

The houses have been specially built as part of Waverley Borough Council’s ambitions to provide more affordable accommodation and help address the issues of street homelessness.

Funding has been specifically allocated to the project, a partnership between the council and Homes England, under the Government-initiated Next Steps Accommodation Programme which has the aim of eliminating rough sleeping in England by 2024.

The two self-contained units, which were built off-site in a factory to a Passivhaus standard and feature an extensive range of features for 'green living', will help provide a solution for complex cases involving rough sleepers and other single homeless households.  

Under the scheme, the homes will be used flexibly to provide emergency or temporary accommodation depending on individual cases, and will support people to transition from the street into longer term supported living. The wider aim is to ensure better health and well-being for clients and to help with their financial management skills, self-confidence and social skills. The council’s last annual rough sleeper estimate identifies three rough sleepers in Waverley.

Both modular homes are highly energy-efficient with neither home needing a conventional heating system - ample heat coming from a solitary heated towel rail in the bathroom, electrical appliances, body heat, and other passive sources of heat. This reduces heating demand by up to 80 per cent and combined with the eight solar panels providing 3.2kW power, the homes are designed to have ‘net zero’ carbon emissions.

Interior temperatures are kept constant due to the building’s construction. With no drafts or overheating they also help reduce issues of asthma and hay fever. The two homes, called Haus4two+, have been built by Beattie Passive with a high-performance insulation system throughout all floors, walls and ceiling cavities with no joints and no leaks. All windows are triple glazed with anti-sun coating to prevent overheating in summer.

Inside they feature a larger living area, spacious double bedroom, fitted kitchen, in-built storage cupboard and French doors in the living area.

The buildings, which are situated on a former garage site in Badger’s Close, Godalming, require lightweight foundations and can be relocated without major structural work. They were brought in by lorry and craned into position and are among the first of their type in the country that will be available for rent from a local authority.

The development also fits in with council’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan to ‘ensure that all new council homes be carbon neutral by 2030’ and its commitment to reduce fuel poverty. The council worked in partnership with Homes England which allocated grant funding from the Next Steps Accommodation Programme to support delivery of these much-needed affordable homes.

Waverley portfolio holder for housing and community safety, Councillor Anne-Marie Rosoman,  said: “We have set out to tackle the issues of homelessness and provide more affordable housing, particularly social housing, throughout the borough and these excellent new homes are a statement of that intent. They will provide vital accommodation at an affordable cost. They are also an important step forward toward our commitment and ambitions for making all our council homes carbon neutral by 2030.”

Beattie Passive Managing Director Ron Beattie said: “With the new Haus4two Plus we now have a high-quality, modular product which increases the space standards to 39m2. These two new units for Waverley Borough Council provide much needed affordable accommodation in Godalming, Surrey and are built to Passivhaus standards to provide residents with a high quality and superior performance home.”

Nathan Beattie, Commercial Operations at Beattie Passive, said: “We have worked closely with Waverley Borough Council and Allen Construction Consultancy to bring the redevelopment of the disused garage site to fruition quickly, with the two Haus4two+ units being manufactured and delivered onsite in as little as six weeks. It is also great to note that due to the excellent thermal performance of the system combined with solar panels means these Haus4two+ units are net zero-carbon and are aiming for low energy building certification from the Passivhaus Institute, setting them as an exemplar housing solution in the UK.”


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