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Project Overview

Greener Living

We set extremely high sustainability targets for this project, from the design and construction of the building right through to helping residents enjoy a greener lifestyle. We are therefore extremely proud that Prince Charles House was awarded the highest environmental rating of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Outstanding. This is the industry recognised method for assessing the sustainability of buildings and is used to describe its design, construction, materials used and how they perform environmentally. Prince Charles House is also the first older person development in the UK to achieve this high status.

This development replaces a 50 year old building that had reached the end of its life and could no longer offer our supported residents suitable accommodation.

Funding

This exciting redevelopment was made possible with grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency through Cornwall Council from their Eco-communities Fund. This turned Prince Charles House into the ‘demonstrator’ project for the St Austell and China Clays Eco-community which was developed to showcase examples of low carbon living in the area. This redevelopment also resulted in creating an additional 8 homes.

This funding originally came from the Department for Communities and Local Government which is responsible for the four Eco-Towns across the country.

Designing for Energy Efficiency and Comfort

The 31 spacious apartments have been designed to ensure that residents feel comfortable in their homes whatever the season. The homes therefore make the most of natural light, as well as having natural ventilation and cooling. The additional sunshine contributes to a feeling of well being for residents and reduces the need for artificial lighting.

Apartments also benefit from very efficient insulation and double glazed windows that provide residents with low cost heating when it is cold, and maintaining a pleasant temperature when it is hot. Residents are also able to easily control the degree of warmth with thermostats in each room responsible for the efficient underfloor heating.

Designing for the Future

As well as being environmentally friendly, the homes meet HAPPI (Housing the Aging Population: Panel for Innovation) and Lifetime Homes Standards which means that the homes are easily adaptable to meet the needs of the residents as they grow older or become less mobile.

Building Green

The project team referred to the Green Guide to Specification to make the best environmental choices when selecting construction materials and components. This ensured that both the construction process and the building throughout its lifecycle has the least impact on the environment.

Additionally, 89% of the construction waste produced when demolishing the previous building and constructing the new development was diverted from landfill. This includes using 2000 tonnes of crushed stonework from the demolished building to form the new development’s foundations and contractors temporary car park.

Renewable Energy

The photovoltaic array converts daylight into electricity and helps to power the communal areas of the building and reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted by the development.

Water Conservation

Water efficient fittings such as low volume dual flush toilets, low-flow taps and showers and A rated white goods help with reducing the residents water consumption.

Communal Lounge

The building includes a community facility that is for use by residents and those in surrounding neighbourhood. It is hoped that through activities and outreach work, this space will help to build relationships between local residents, creating a hub at the heart of the community.

Passing on the Knowledge

We are monitoring the building performance to find out how well it performs environmentally. We are also working in partnership with the ECEHH, who are part of Exeter University, to find out if the residents experience any changes to their health and well-being and end up living a greener lifestyle from moving into their new homes.

These projects will help us to understand the full benefits of Prince Charles House including where improvements can be made.  This knowledge will then be used when designing and building new Ocean developments and with upcoming Eco-community projects.

 


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