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Date published: 20 June 2023

Stonewater has worked with Beattie Passive to create a small development of four high-quality homes on the site of the old Chard Working Men’s Club in Somerset, constructed using the Passivhaus method.

The partnership sees the provision of four two-bedroom timber-framed homes, constructed using a continuous insulation layer and an airtight membrane resulting in highly insulated homes that are extremely energy efficient to run.

Ashcot Construction, managing contractors for the site, saw additional benefits from the modern construction method, as their team received training on how to build the Beattie homes, in order for the units to then be constructed locally in Somerset, reducing the carbon footprint.

An official opening bought together partners, including Stonewater, Beattie Passive, Ashcot Construction, Baker Ruff Hanon, GCP Architects, to see the recently completed homes before new residents move in.

Councillor Ros Wyke, Lead Member for Economy, Planning and Assets at Somerset Council cut the ribbon to the site, marking the homes as officially 'open'.

Cllr Wyke said: "I am so pleased to open these new affordable homes. Not only do they look spectacular, they are affordable and, more importantly, eco-friendly. Somerset Council has worked with Stonewater and Beattie Passive to provide these homes and we look forward to providing more like this across the Somerset Council area."

Due to constraints around size and access at the old Working Men’s Club, it was decided that the unique build method of the Beattie Passive system would be the perfect solution for this site.

Stonewater has a detailed sustainability and decarbonisation plan, and is embracing new technologies, renewable energy solutions and sustainable techniques for house-building. As an additional positive feature, the Beattie system used on this site is fully recyclable when the units reach the end of their lifecycle, aside from the brick finish.

The four new homes will all be available for affordable rent, and as well as the many sustainability features, will also benefit from private courtyard gardens which will each feature a wooden planter with a painted mural that helps to reinforce Stonewater’s dedication to public art.

The completion of these homes, using Homes England funding and Local Authority Grant, marks the end of phase two on this site, with an earlier phase one providing five flats for affordable rent.

Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development (South & West) at Stonewater said: "It was a pleasure to gather with partners to officially open this innovative development of homes on the site of the old Chard Working Men’s Club, our first using the Passivhaus system.

"We have developed a great relationship with Beattie Passive and using their sustainable and modern construction methods has allowed us to provide more much-needed affordable homes on this site, whilst lowering the impact on the local and wider environment."

"In a cost-of-living crisis, with residents often seeing ever-increasing bills, it is more important than ever to use methods that provide warm homes with lower bills, so we’re very happy to see these new homes complete."

Nathan Beattie, Head of Operations at Beattie Passive added: "It’s been great to work with Stonewater and Ashcot Construction to deliver their first Passivhaus standard social housing scheme using our Flying Factory partnership model. We’re looking forward to working together in the future."