• Building a Better Future
    For Our City
  • Building a Better Future
    For Our City
  • Building a Better Future
    For Our City
  • Building a Better Future
    For Our City

Sheffield’s green houses

Some of the greenest houses in Britain are under construction in Sheffield as part of an experiment to balance the costs and benefits of eco living.

Three homes are being built at Sheffield Housing Company's Brearley Forge site in the Parson Cross area of the city to level six of the government's Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) standards. 

This is the highest standard recognised to date and one which sets the benchmark for best practice in sustainable housing design and construction.  A fourth home will be built to the typical CHS level three standard, allowing detailed comparisons to be made.

Sheffield Housing Company is a partnership comprising the city council, regeneration specialist Keepmoat – which is building the properties - and Great Places Housing Group. 

The CSH code six homes will benefit from extremely high levels of insulation, a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, which re-circulates air from the warmer areas of the home and solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. 

When complete, next spring, the Brearley Forge homes will be allocated for rent with the energy use in each being carefully monitored and residents questioned to determine the results. The findings are designed to shed light on the costs and benefits of constructing homes above this code level. 

Tom Fenton, Project Director with the Sheffield Housing Company, said:  “This is not a gimmick to build the most energy efficient homes.  It is about finding the most cost effective way to deliver homes to code levels four, five and six that people on average incomes can afford to buy.

“There is not a great deal of point in introducing more costly and ever tighter environmental regulations if they make the homes so expensive to purchase that very few people can afford them. 

“There are a variety of ways to achieve the standards and we are looking for the most cost effective solutions.  This is an interesting experiment which we hope will shed new light on eco building techniques and costs, informing the future direction of home construction.”

“At present this type of sustainability comes at an extra cost of around £40,000 per home and we need to measure whether the costs of achieving this are sufficiently offset by real savings in running the home for the occupier.

“Only by measuring this in some detail over a twelve to eighteen month period against an equivalent property built to code level 3 standards can we truly say that the extra over cost is worth incurring."

Over the next 15 years Sheffield Housing Company plans to build up to 2,300 homes across the city with around a third for rent or shared ownership and the remainder for private sale.  All will reach the Lifetime Homes standard, making adaptations easier to allow people to remain living independently for as long as possible.

In addition, 15% of the homes will be completed to Mobility Standards and 10% will be fully wheelchair accessible.  With an emphasis on quality, space and value, no other builder in the area is constructing homes to such exacting standards. 

Brearley Forge, named after the inventor of Stainless Steel, Harry Brearley, is the largest Sheffield Housing Company development thus far.  The first phase of 142 properties is now under construction, as are 116 more at Cutler's View, Norfolk Park.  Preparation works have also begun in Shirefcliffe where 47 homes will be developed on small infill sites.

To find out more about the Sheffield Housing Company visit www.sheffieldhousingcompany.co.uk. To make an advanced reservation on a Sheffield Housing Company home, please visit Keepmoat's sales office at Brearley Forge, Falstaff Crescent, Sheffield, S5 8DD between 10.00am and 5.00pm Thursday to Monday.  Alternatively, please call Keepmoat's home sales executive on 07814 389 374 or visit www.keepmoat.com.

Last Updated: 29/11/2023
Author: Maura Gallagher

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