A village in Nottinghamshire is taking a major step into the future of ecological house building with the construction of two innovative eco-estates.
Thought to be the largest housing development in the UK to be heated using geothermal energy, Collingham Park is a residential development with 60 retirement apartments and bungalows. Using geothermal energy from 32 boreholes reaching 120 metres underground, the technology will cut resident’s energy bills by around 75%.
The adjacent site, Collingham Brook offers 45 properties including spacious three and four bedroom passive solar homes. The houses at Collingham Brook, which are triple glazed and super insulated, generate the majority of their energy from rooftop solar panels, which provide free electricity for heating and hot water.
Gusto Homes has previously used their passive solar homes designs at its acclaimed Woodlands Edge development in Lincolnshire, where 29 eco-homes have been built around private woodland near Lincoln, including homes which cost just £1 per day to run.
Chief Executive of Gusto Homes, Steff Wright said:
“Over twenty years, Gusto Homes has been at the forefront of eco-home construction, but this is one of our most ambitious green projects to date, with an entire community benefiting from geothermal energy.
“The technology we’re using to create this estate is game-changing, and it has the potential to transform the way homes are built in the future as we try to cut our emissions, reduce our impact on climate change and cut the energy costs for our homebuyers.
Gusto Homes has used geothermal heat pumps in custom and self-build projects for several years, but never across an entire housing development on this scale. Using this natural, renewable energy, people living here will be able to enjoy high-quality homes with very low energy bills and a minimal carbon-footprint.
“Since we started designing and building eco-homes two decades ago, we’ve been the first to use many technologies and techniques which are now used across the country; if the technology we’re using in this development becomes just as widespread in future, it would make a dramatic difference in the impact new housing has on the environment.”
Collingham Park and Collingham Brook are adjacent developments in the Nottinghamshire village of Collingham near Newark. Both developments use cutting edge green innovations to deliver high quality energy-efficient homes for people who want to enjoy their leisure time in comfortable, stylish homes.
Alongside housing, the developments will also include green spaces, a nursery, a gym, office space, business units, allotments and a local Men in Sheds building which older men and women can use to develop their wood-working and other practical skills.
The geothermal boreholes at Collingham Park are being drilled by Nicholls Boreholes; the only firm in the UK to be fully MCS accredited for the design, drilling and installation of ground source heat pumps.
Drilling Manager for Nicholls Boreholes, Tim Holland said:
“While this is the largest scale project we’ve worked on, geothermal technology is surprisingly straight forward, reliable and efficient: Essentially, pipes carry very cold water deep underground, where the natural heat of the earth raises the water’s temperature. The water loops back up to the surface where a heat pump extracts the heat energy using a process that’s similar to that of a household refrigerator. For every kilowatt that it takes to power the heat pump, it produces up to four kilowatts of energy which means it can cut your heating bills to just 25% of the rate you’d normally pay.
“Ground source energy is a big outlay, but it quickly covers its cost through green energy production and through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) so all big developments should be using this technology so they can use renewable heat from the ground. While gas and other fuels won’t always be there and wind and solar energy isn’t as reliable in the UK as in other countries, the heat in the ground will always be there and it’s certainly the way we should be looking.
“It’s great that Gusto Homes is using one of the most efficient renewable energy sources available in this country; they’ve committed to a good and efficient system which will provide green energy for many many years to come.”