Sinclair Meadows in South Shields is the first ‘carbon negative’ housing community of its kind in the UK.
The scheme has been delivered by Four Housing Group and provides 21 affordable homes.
The design is well in advance of current standards and will serve as an excellent example to others of how to construct sustainable and low environmental impact developments.
Paul Tanney, Chief Executive of Four Housing Group said: “The project is currently 15 per cent beyond the current zero carbon definition, and based on all current calculations we anticipate the scheme will be more than 60 per cent beyond the 2013 definition. We are breaking boundaries in terms of what is achievable in the realms of social housing.
“There is a growing need in the industry for developers to understand how micro-renewable technologies perform in the real world. The data monitoring of Sinclair Meadows over the next two years will collect raw and accurate data which will not only provide an excellent opportunity to share knowledge of sustainable housing with the industry, but also improve tenant engagement and training programmes.”
The development comprises nine three-bedroom houses and 12 two-bedroom apartments. The principle contractor on the project was Galliford Try Partnerships North and the architect was Fitz Architects. Ian Larnach Associates provided advice on sustainability and were involved from the beginning of the project.
Alan Wyper, Sustainability Design Manager at Galliford Try Partnerships, said:
“We have been involved in the plans for the Sinclair Meadows development since the pioneering project’s inception over four years ago and are delighted to have made a positive contribution in bringing it to reality. Sinclair Meadows is a flagship development of which all the partners can be proud and another step towards our vision to be leaders in the construction of a sustainable future.”
The design concept was to provide residents with healthy homes within a sustainable community lifestyle. The intention was to create a development that will set the standard for local regeneration schemes but also inspire residents to revisit the true values of community life.
Chris Holt from Ian Larnach Associates explained:
“The initial concept began around four years ago with the aim of creating a carbon negative housing development. We wanted to lock away as much carbon as possible but also generate an excess of energy from the systems installed to make sure that during operation, when tenants are using the houses, they produce more energy than they use.”
The materials used were selected because of their renewable and carbon negative capabilities including responsibly sourced timber frames, larch cladding, natural lime render, cedar roof shingles, recycled wood fibre insulation and triple glazed timber windows.
A spokesperson from Fitz Architects said:
“The major concept was to orientate the buildings to face south to maximise the natural solar gain and also allow for the integration of renewable technologies into the roof. Equally important was the houses being ‘huddled’ together in a staggered layout, which minimises exposed north facing elevations creating party walls in thermal equilibrium with the neighbouring property.
“These two key factors dictated the organisational structure of the site and the internal spatial relationships of the homes. The scheme is an imaginative layout which maximises views, vistas and privacy distances. The striking buildings create a local landmark development and the quality of a residential neighbourhood such as this strongly influences people’s quality of life in a positive way.”
The project will make a major contribution to national house building initiatives and it would not have been possible without the initial vision of Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle and hard work of the various partners involved, including South Tyneside Council.
Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Transport at South Tyneside Council, said:
“It’s no coincidence that this cutting-edge development has taken shape in South Tyneside, which is fast emerging as a centre for renewable energy and green enterprise. Sinclair Meadows is breaking new ground in sustainable living, just a stone’s throw from One Trinity Green – a new business development that was recently hailed as the world’s greenest new office building of the year.”
It is also the only no car parking scheme within the area and has provisions of kitchen herb gardens and designated garden areas to encourage vegetable growing. The carbon-negative aspects of the build had to be carefully considered not only throughout the design and construction process but also with tenants, who will be trained in how to lead carbon negative lifestyles.
Ian Larnach Associates Ltd
Ian Larnach Associates Ltd provide sustainability consultancy and material supply chain consultancy- solving problems and introducing specific solutions to help clients save time and money.
Chris Holt from Ian Larnach Associates ltd said:
“This project is truly groundbreaking and it was really important to us to be a part of it. I was the Code for Sustainable Homes assessor and we were part of the bid team along with the housing association and architect, working on the project from the conception stage.
“On Sinclair Meadows, we used a number of Reppel products including Lewis Dovetailed Sheeting which is a light weight steel and screed composite floor system. In this project the Lewis solution was chosen to provide an acoustic floor that improved on Building Regulations Part E standards by at least 8dB – the sound testing on the site showed that it easily achieved this standard.
“Lacomet Fl, a lead flashing alternative was also used as it solved the problem of tannins leaching from the timber shingles.
“At Ian Larnach Associates Ltd we pride ourselves in being able to solve problems and find solutions that save time and money but also add value and quality.”