Our award-winning social homes are built to a high design specification, are energy efficient and built to standards above that required by Building Regulations.
We have many years’ experience of building to AECB Building Standard and have a well-established development programme of Passivhaus homes. We are always looking for new ways to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.
Our ‘fabric first’ approach maximises energy performance, minimises environmental impact, and provides value for money.
- We use high levels of wall, loft and floor insulation, combined with high-performing windows and doors.
- We take care to prevent thermal bridging during both design and construction phases.
- We require each scheme to have a ventilation strategy to ensure good air quality and to avoid moisture build up, condensation and mould growth.
- We give our contractors a level of flexibility to choose the end products but we encourage the use of long-lasting products that are efficient, readily available and easy to repair and replace.
Current building regulations require a water consumption standard of 125 litres per person per day with an optional requirement for water efficiency of 110 litres. The Hastoe Homes Standard demands that all properties achieve water usage of 90 litres. Contractors are required to utilise water saving devices such as dual flush toilets, shower timers and low-flow taps which save water without reducing pressure.
Building better, building beautiful
For Hastoe, building beautiful means listening to local communities and building in the local vernacular. All our developments are built to the same high-quality standard but no two schemes are the same. We believe it’s important to preserve the uniqueness of rural communities and we’ve won many awards in recognition of our work.
All our required design specifications lay out our clear expectations on build form, facades, materials, windows, doors and any additional value. They will also convey our expectations on the layout and setting of a development; starting with the context and history of the village, covering principles for site layouts, orientation, trees and greening. They will also contain further sections on street and public realm, partnerships and processes, and sustainability and stewardship.
We are using the Nationally Described Space Standards. Designers will be required to verify that all aspects, including storage and room sizes, comply with these standards. The footprints designed should allow for suitable wall thicknesses to be achieved without compromising on internal space.
Accessibility and adaptability
While all our schemes are built to meet an identified housing need, we require all our homes to have a level access threshold and the front entrance needs to be able to accommodate a wheelchair user. As a minimum, we also require our houses to be built so they can be adapted as needs change in the future (complying with Building Regulations Part M4(2) accessible and adaptable dwellings).
Where there is an identified need for bungalows we will assess whether these need to be wheelchair compliant. However, some key features will always be incorporated into their design to allow easy future conversion, e.g. accommodating required turning circles, ensuring a bathroom can become a wet room, level access to a suitable charging point for mobility scooters and chairs.
Where feasible, we will consider installing items to meet expectations on future living:
- Electric vehicle charging points
- Fibre broadband
- Oversized radiators to enable easy conversion to a future heat source
Our homes are built to a standard over and above that required by building regulations. We have a number of quality control measures in place to ensure high standards and building safety.
- All new design plans set out our requirements in an easy to understand way. Designers are required to complete a checklist prior to planning submission to provide a clear audit trail for any deviations to the design brief.
- Employer’s requirements and specification items are in an easy-to-understand format and set out clearly those items that are essential and those that are desirable. This checklist will be used both during and at the end of development to ensure all areas have been complied with.
- While using and working with an experienced Clerk of Works service, we also have in-house quality control to enable increased site inspections and to reduce defects. We ensure our development teams have up-to-date knowledge and experience in construction issues.
- We monitor the performance of our homes and neighbourhoods over time and use this to inform our work and improve energy performance.
We want to ensure our homes have minimal impact on the environment and are ecologically sustainable. During the building stage we encourage the repurposing, recycling and upcycling of materials throughout our supply chain. Once built, our homes are efficient and affordable to maintain.
- A landscape architect is employed as part of the early design team to ensure greater emphasis on the soft landscaping design proposal. The landscape architect will sign off the final landscape design at completion of the planting scheme.
- Where possible we create places where cars don’t dominate and support low carbon lifestyles in a rural context.
- We build sympathetically to complement the local environment and then enhance the surroundings. Where possible we conserve and create green spaces to maintain local biodiversity incorporating wildflower areas, green corridors or edible herbs and cut flowers in a communal landscaping scheme.
- Features such as bird, bee and bat boxes are also considered alongside hedgehog-friendly fences.
- We plant street trees, provide gardens and offer a fruit tree to every resident.