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Image of ECD springwell Brae development for Eildon housing Association

Springwell Brae New Build energiesprong Homes

Broughton, Scottish Borders

Client: Eildon Housing Association
Project Value: £1.4m
Brief: 11 zero-energy new build homes on a greenfield site
Sustainability Initiatives: Designed to Energiesprong standard, net zero energy development, air-source heat pumps, PV panels, MVHR

In September 2018 Eildon HA launched a design competition, asking for proposals for innovative low-energy housing solutions for a rural site at Broughton in the Scottish Borders. The design brief specifically stated that proposals should not be designed to Passivhaus standard as Eildon were developing a PH project elsewhere.

For the submission, ECD successfully proposed the use of Energiesprong which is a Dutch sustainability standard which focusses on net-zero carbon development and modern off-site methods of construction (MMC). The Energiesprong model includes the use of an ‘Energy Plan’ which is intended to fund future net-zero developments. Although originally a retrofit solution, ECD have worked closely with Energiesprong to establish a new-build specification for the standard in the UK.

In addition, following allocation of a funding grant, ECD will be part of a research project, including the University of Glasgow and Scottish Construction Innovation Centre, which will compare the standard against Passivhaus and the Scottish Government’s ‘silver standard’ in terms of air quality, carbon emissions, energy use, embodied carbon, internal comfort levels and cost. This research will be made publicly available through Innovate UK.

In terms of MMC, the project uses the innovative Val-U-Therm system of off-site manufacture, which ECD already had experience of having used if for the new-build section of our Longforgan Primary School project.

The result is 11 No. new build homes which achieve a net-zero development, using panellised off-site construction techniques, erected on-site in less than a week. The project is currently under construction and will produce the first new-build, zero-energy Energiesprong homes in the UK.

Lastly, ECD are also using this project to up-skill the Eildon HA staff on BIM. We are supplying BIM consultancy services to the HA as well as designing the building in Revit to BIM level 2.

ECD have worked closely with the Scottish Borders planning department to ensure that the new development sits comfortably within the existing context. A courtyard arrangement has been developed with a shared surface solution following the Homezone principles of urban design. This creates a pedestrian friendly environment for the new development.

There are two main housetypes which have been developed for the site, both of which have been orientated to take advantage of passive solar gain, with the facades clad in a mixture of render and timber to respond to the local vernacular. Additionally, a single wheelchair accessible unit has been provided which has been located to terminate the view as visitors and residents enter the development.