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|Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:23 pm Post subject: Ritchie cuts first sod of eco-friendly social housing in New
|Ritchie cuts first sod of eco-friendly social housing in Newtownards - 28 January 2009
Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie MLA today officially cut the first sod to launch a new eco-friendly housing scheme in Newtownards.
The development of 40 two bedroom apartments at Donaghadee Road, Newtownards by Connswater Homes and Sky Developments, is being piloted as the first social housing scheme to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. From April 2008, all new social housing has been designed to Level 3 of the Code, in itself a significant step up from what went before. At Level 3, CO2 emissions are improved by 25%, whilst Level 4 increases that by a further 19%.
The Code is designed to improve the sustainability of new homes and requires all new social housing to offer a reduced environmental impact, lower running costs and features that enhance health and well being.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: “I am delighted to see construction of this new scheme underway. The delivery of high quality energy efficient and sustainable social housing is a key priority for my Department. Connswater Homes and Sky Developments are to be congratulated for planning such an innovative, flagship development.
“My Department has an aspiration to build to the highest levels of sustainability. This pilot, to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with even higher levels of energy efficiency, will be invaluable in helping decide the best way forward.”
Sky Developments recently completed Northern Ireland’s first Carbon Neutral House in Holywood and will be using some of the innovative energy saving technologies employed there, in this latest development. The apartments will be built using modern methods of construction, with Structural Insulated Panels keeping heat loss to a minimum. Solar photovoltaic panels will generate electricity to run lighting for communal areas. Residents will benefit from green roof gardens for leisure and relaxation and convenient cycle parking and storage will be provided.
The Minister added: “Through Connswater Homes this development will provide 40 much needed new homes in Newtownards. All will have an impressive array of energy saving, design and security features. Residents can look forward to moving into these state of the art homes in summer 2010.”
1. Connswater Homes is one of 34 housing associations registered with the Department for Social Development.
2. This 40 unit housing scheme will cost around £6million, including land, construction and associated on costs. Some £4.5million will be funded by the Department for Social Development through Housing Association Grant, with Connswater Homes contributing the balance.
3. The Code for Sustainable Homes is a newly introduced environmental impact rating system. The code aims to protect the environment by providing guidance on the construction of high performance homes by using a rating system to ascertain the overall sustainability of a home. New homes are given a rating from 1 to 6. From April 2008, all new social housing in Northern Ireland is required to achieve a Level 3 rating.
4. Media enquiries to DSD Information Office on 028 9082 9496 or Joe Livingston on 07920 187938. Out of office hours please contact Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
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