Award-winning carbon-neutral urban housing development completed

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The project illustrates how an integrated whole system approach can lead to sustainable dwellings at a realistic cost

Construction has finished on an innovative new carbon-neutral housing development in the Midlands – with the inner-city project immediately winning an award.

The project, called SHINE ZC, illustrates how an integrated whole system approach can lead to sustainable dwellings at a realistic cost. It is aiming to become the region’s first project to achieve Level 6, the highest Government rating for carbon neutral properties, and is currently being assessed.

Set on the site of a derelict warehouse, SHINE ZC, designed by Simon Foote Architects, comprises nine affordable dwellings in the relatively deprived Abbey Ward in Derby, and demonstrates how through intelligent design, system integration and control, buildings can not only be environmentally sustainable, but also economical to run.

A principle feature of the development is the use of a seasonal heat store as a means of achieving CODE compliance. This helps increase the effectiveness of domestic hot water and space heating system.

It contains a thermal basement below the properties which uses masonry from the demolished building which previously stood on the site to store heat regenerated by the solar panels on the roof.

The wall construction consists of ICF (Integrated Concrete Forms), polystyrene shuttering filled with concrete, cedar cladding and render, which aids insulation, as does the triple-glazed windows, with the environmental controls being regulated by a BMS.

There is a back-up CHP system, fuelled by recycled vegetable oil and providing electrical power and heat. Loughborough University will be monitoring the building and collecting data for the next 2 years, to assess performance.

Simon Foote, managing director of Simon Foote Architects, said there is as yet no housing development in the region that has achieved verified zero carbon performance in a cost effective long term manner under real-life occupation.

He said: “The use of the underground thermal store, using the rubble from the warehouse that once stood there, is a novel and innovative way of capturing and storing heat.

“There were many complex technical uses that needed to be tackled in an urban brown field site, not least the technologies required to meet the standard set alongside stringent planning regulations.”

Earlier this month the scheme won the “Derbyshire scheme and team” award at the Forum for the Built Environment Awards. Judges said that the award recognised “SHINE-ZC’s commitment to zero carbon housing and the advanced carbon neutral technology utilised in the design”.

The team included Simon Foote Architects, East Midlands Renewable Energy, Loughborough University and Sustainable Construction iNet.

More about Simon Foote Architects at

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