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Raising the bar on energy-efficient, affordable rural homes to help meet zero carbon targets

We are launching our Hastoe New-Build Standard today, setting out the minimum requirements for all our new homes.

21 April 2021

We are launching our Hastoe New-Build Standard today, setting out the minimum requirements for all our new homes. “We have always delivered beautiful, affordable homes that go beyond current building regulations” explains Development Director Ulrike Maccariello. “Our New-Build Standard consolidates our approach and sets us on the road to meeting the Government’s carbon emission targets for 2050 as well as the Future Building Standard in 2025.”

As a rural housing specialist, we have a strong track record in being invited by rural communities to develop bespoke, small-scale, affordable developments, sensitive to specific local housing needs. Hastoe tailors each scheme to fit within its unique, local setting and circumstances. And for that reason no Hastoe development is ever the same.

Our Powerstock development in Dorset

“First and foremost though, it’s the people who will live in our homes who are at the heart of the Standard” explains Hastoe Board member Chris Parsons. “We want them to be able to afford to live comfortably and without facing increasing fuel bills. To ensure our properties are really energy-efficient, we focus on a fabric-first approach that prioritises high levels of insulation alongside high-performing windows and doors in our homes.”

Tenants Nicola and Joe, who live in a Hastoe Passivhaus scheme in Burwash, East Sussex say they love their one-bedroom flat. “It’s incredibly cheap to run” says Nicola. “It’s also spacious and bright with its own garden. We’re really proud of where we live. The building fits in beautifully with this lovely village”.

The New-Build Standard has itself been informed by the Passivhaus approach – a highly energy-efficient building technique that uses ‘passive’ heat sources such as the sun, human occupants and household appliances to cut energy bills by up to 90% per year.

Hastoe was the first rural housing association in the UK to build Passivhaus homes, starting with Wimbish in Essex. And it aims to continue to develop at least one scheme to this standard every year, where a village wants to invest in this approach. However, the specialist materials and technologies required to do this can be costly. “Our Hastoe New-Build Standard takes the best of Passivhaus, adapted for delivery within current financial constraints” explains Development Director Ulrike Maccariello. “We focus on traditional, and therefore more cost-effective, building methods that help achieve a similar standard of energy-efficiency.”

Hastoe's first Passivhaus development at Wimbish in Uttlesford, Essex

Ulrike adds that she’s pleased the New-Build Standard is also helping Hastoe meet Government targets for 2025 and 2050. She says, “It’s a great start although we expect we’ll will need to evolve it over time as we monitor and adapt to new thinking about environmental challenges, carbon emissions targets and developments in the building industry”.

There are eight key elements that make up the Hastoe New-Build Standard. Alongside energy-efficiency, beautiful design and sustainability, it also includes quality control, property size, reduced water consumption, future proofing, and adaptability and accessibility.          

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