Monmouthshire Housing Association is ramping up efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, especially in the way its homes are built.

From logos to logistics, MHA is continuing its promise of being a green organisation and this is personified in new regeneration schemes at Pembroke Road and Western Avenue.

Both the schemes were formerly occupied by MHA garages which have recently been demolished to make way for redevelopment in partnership with the Innovative Housing Programme.

The main contractor, Capsel Limited, have recently started the erection of a bespoke timber frame system which is filled with natural wool and will provide high levels of thermal efficiency. Use of plastic in the building fabric has been greatly reduced, with alternative materials specified wherever possible.

Electricity to the homes will be provided by solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roof with heating and hot water provided by an air source heat pump instead of natural gas, with the end user benefiting from lower utility bills.

Sustainable drainage systems have been approved for use on both schemes with rainwater being re-used to maintain rain gardens with vehicular surfaces constructed using a permeable block paving surfacing system which allows the rainwater to return to the ground where possible.

Anthony Smith, Development Delivery Manager for MHA, said, “We are pleased to be delivering our two new Innovative Housing Schemes in partnership with the Innovative Housing Programme from Welsh Government. Our Main Contractor – Capsel Limited, together with our design team, have collaborated in providing quality and innovative affordable homes in Monmouthshire”.

Both the developments at Pembroke Road and Western Avenue closely mirror MHA’s homes recently built in Abergavenny and Caldicot, which won the ‘Innovation’ category at the Constructing Excellence Wales awards in 2020. Each of the developments were built in partnership with the Cardiff School of Architecture.

Wayne Forster, Deputy Head of School at the Welsh School of Architecture, added, “In the new schemes at Bulwark, Chepstow MHA continue to drive toward full zero carbon buildings in response to climate emergency. a combination of high performance external envelope, low impact or renewable materials, fossil fuel free heating and solar panels contribute to the innovative schemes which are part of the WG innovative Housing Programme.

“As well as the technical innovation the schemes also address the requirements of the Future Generations Act in particular providing opportunities for flexibility”.

In a recent study carried out by the United Nations environment programme, it was discovered that the construction industry accounts for 38% of CO2 emissions – the need for a sustainable built environment is greater than ever.