Our award-winning social homes are built to a high design specification, are energy efficient and built to standards well 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 believe the provision of high levels of wall, loft and floor insulation, combined with high-performing windows and doors, deliver the best return for our residents and us.
We take care to prevent thermal bridging during both design and construction phases. We also require each scheme to have a ventilation strategy to ensure good air quality and to avoid moisture build up, condensation and mould growth.
We enable our contractors to have a level of flexibility when choosing 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 Standard demands that all properties achieve water usage of 90 litres. Contractors are required to utilise water saving devices such as low-flow faucet aerators, dual flush toilets and shower timers to help residents become more water aware.
Any new design plan will set out our requirements in an easy to understand way. Designers will be 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.
While building in the local vernacular, our required design standard will lay out our clear expectations on build form, facades, materials, windows, doors and any additional value. It will also convey our expectations in relation to 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. It will have further sections on street and public realm, partnerships and processes, and sustainability and stewardship.
To ensure we future proof our homes, where feasible, we will consider the installation of additional items:
- Electric vehicle charging points
- Fibre Broadband
- USB sockets
- Oversized radiators to enable easy conversion to a future heat source.
Our homes will achieve 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 that all our homes have a level access threshold and that the front entrance has a clear opening width 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.
Our homes don’t just need to be energy efficient and have minimal impact on the environment. They also need to be ecologically sustainable.
Housing schemes will need to utilise methods to reduce their impact as well as help them blend in with their surroundings. This might include the incorporation of wildflower areas, green corridors or edible herbs and cut flowers in a communal landscaping scheme. Features such as bird, bee and bat boxes will also be considered alongside hedgehog-friendly fences. Hastoe also offers every resident a native fruit tree for their garden.
A landscape architect will be 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.