Valleys to Coast tenants first to move into innovative new eco-homes with ‘Grand designs’

Last week saw the first Valleys to Coast tenants move into four brand new low-carbon homes whose innovative design won the Grand Designs’ Self-Build on a Shoestring competition.

Valleys to Coast partnered with Pentan Architects, who designed the concept, to deliver the new ‘Barnhaus’ properties in North Cornelly in Bridgend, having been awarded the funding to help build them as part of the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme.

Constructed with a combination of steel and timber frames which can be erected in a single day, the new ‘Ski-lodge-style’ properties also use straw bales and recycled materials for insulation, as well as using roof-mounted solar panels to reduce electrical usage. Valleys to Coast commissioned Pentan Architects to design a pilot Barnhaus development back in 2014 with the aim of making the concept a reality for social housing tenants in North Cornelly. Built on the site of former garages, the project explored the idea of building more energy efficient new homes in a quicker time frame and for less money than a traditional house build.

These modern two-bedroom homes welcomed their first tenants on the 5th August, among them was mother-of-two, Chloe Devereux, who said: “It has been a bit of a wait because of Covid-19, but we are so pleased to finally be moving into this lovely home, it’s a dream come true for me and my twin boys are going to love living here too”.

As part of the pilot, Valleys to Coast will be working with Cardiff University and the Welsh Government to monitor the energy efficiency of the properties with sensors installed in each of the four homes. With an EPC rating of A+ they are expected to not only provide lasting warmth and comfort to residents but also to help offer some solutions to help tackle fuel poverty within the social housing sector too.

Darrin Davies, Director of Development & Asset Investment at Valleys to Coast said:

“We are so pleased to have worked with Pentan Architects and SEER Construction and added these innovative homes to our stock here in Bridgend. Not only do we aim to provide homes that are happy and safe for our tenants but we want them to be good for the environment too. We will use what we have learnt from the design and delivery here to help us to develop the specification of our future homes with the aim of delivering high standards of energy efficiency, low carbon footprints and homes that are cheaper to run.”

Valleys to Coast would also like to thank Bridgend County Borough Council and the Welsh Government for supporting them to deliver these new homes in Bridgend.

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