Preserving our environment and ensuring our business practices are sustainable are key priorities for Hightown.
Our commitment to greener, more energy efficient communities influences all areas of our organisation, from the maintenance of our existing property portfolio, through to new development planning and our own offices and business activities.
A large proportion of Hightown properties have been built in recent years therefore have relatively high levels of energy efficiency. Our strategic plan aims to achieve homes with a minimum EPC rating of Band C and energy efficiency works are programmed into our annual repairs to increase the energy performance of homes.
Our energy efficiency figures at a glance:
Our approach to building is first to focus on high levels of fabric efficiency - Fabric First – to ensure that the building is well insulated. Where renewables are required by planning, Hightown uses technologies which deliver reliable and established benefits, particularly for residents, such as solar panels for electricity and hot water.
Where appropriate, we also design water saving measures into new homes – such as dual flush toilets and water saving shower heads – as well as providing rain water butts for gardens.
Further to the requirement outlined in the Future Homes Standard that fossil fuel heating systems are no longer installed in new homes built after 2025, we have commissioned an ‘after gas’ report to consider alternative heating systems, keeping in mind the financial implications these could have for our residents.
Sustainability Case Study - Peregrine Close, Hemel Hempstead
Peregrine Close in Hemel Hempstead is one of several recent development projects where Hightown purchased the land directly and entered into a contract to build the homes rather than working in partnership with a house builder in a section 106 agreement.
Completed in December 2019, the development brings 87 new affordable homes to the town in the form of one and two bedroom flats, including 47 affordable rent homes and 40 intermediate rent homes.
Built by the contractors Thomas Sinden, Peregrine Close consists of four apartment blocks named Eagle Court, Kestrel Court, Hawk Court and Osprey Court. The total package price for the land and works was £20.3 million, with Hightown receiving £1.125 million in funding from Homes England and £3.5 million from Dacorum Borough Council.
In line with all new Hightown developments, the buildings were constructed using a 'Fabric First' approach, whereby energy efficiency is optimised and carbon emissions reduced by maximising the performance of the components and materials that make up the construction.
Each flat in the development has a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system (MVHR), providing a constant supply of fresh, filtered air whilst retaining most of the energy that has already been used in heating the property. Not only does this reduce the heating demand of each property - reducing fuel costs for residents - it also prevents mould and damp issues.
Together, these energy efficiency measures mean that all flats within the development fall within a Band B EPC rating, with an average SAP rating of 84.
In addition to the MVHR system, Peregrine Close is also equipped with solar photo voltaic (PV) panels that feed into Kestrel Court, supplying cheaper, green energy for the communal areas, including the lighting and lift.