Cala receives permission for first net zero enabled home

Cala Homes is to build its first net zero carbon “enabled” home at its Hampton Lakes scheme in Peterborough after securing consent from Peterborough City Council.

The housebuilder said the pilot project would enable the company and its subcontractors to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to step up its roll out of green technology across its UK homes. Cala is aiming to build operationally net zero carbon enabled properties before 2030.

Its pilot home will feature an array of “climate-conscious” measures, including highly efficient fabric, triple glazing, an air source heat pump, solar panels and mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems. Other environmentally friendly/ecological features include bat bricks, hedgehog highways, rainwater harvesting and home composting.

The build will be timber frame, with a brick façade to be constructed using low carbon bricks. Around 40% of Cala’s homes are built using timber frame- the housebuilder said the build method helped improve a building’s embodied carbon and the efficiency of the overall build programme, “with resultant savings in construction emissions and waste”.

All of the home’s installed features are expected to be included in the range of technological solutions Cala will use to propel its net zero plans. The project will be built on a plot within Hampton Lakes where the company is delivering 350 homes, alongside green and landscaped open space and a children’s play area. Hampton Lakes is set to complete in 2023; the pilot net zero home should be ready late next year.

Jim Brunt, Cala Homes North Home Counties’ land director, said: “We are delighted to have been given the green light on Cala’s first net zero carbon enabled home. Homes like this one have the potential to be the blueprint for new build development and, in effect, can role-model the level of efficiencies that can be achieved within a property built in traditional architecture.

“We look forward to starting on site and moving this concept forward to enable the delivery of more futureproof property in Cambridgeshire, and in our other regions.”

Last week, Bellway announced that it had begun constructing an experimental eco home, The Future Home, as part of research to determine how home owners can potentially use their abodes in future times.