The Future is Here
Tŷ Solar Homes for Housing Associations in new partnership.
Western Solar Ltd has reached a significant milestone in the company’s development by reaching a partnership agreement with Pembrokeshire Housing Association to build a small hamlet near the Square and Compass in North Pembrokeshire.
The company is also working towards a similar development with Coastal Housing at a site in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, due to commence work in the Spring of 2018.
Both developments use the innovative Tŷ Solar low energy design pioneered at Wales’ first solar village in Glanrhyd, Pembrokeshire earlier this year.
The solar village has now been occupied for six months and residents report high levels of satisfaction with their new homes. They enjoy ultra low energy bills, a shared electric car, comfortable temperatures in all seasons and a much improved sense of well being.
Glen Peters, CEO said, ‘As a small enterprise we’re delighted to have such excellent partners on board early in our development. We have huge ambitions to expand the idea of sustainable homes throughout Wales and judging by the way our concept has been received by other social housing providers we remain optimistic.’
Tŷ Solar homes are specifically for the affordable sector, use 12% of the energy of a traditional home and are made entirely out of wood sourced from Wales. The company believes in the multiplier effect of its part manufactured concept to bring new jobs and skills, substantially improve the well being of the occupants of their homes and reduce the need for energy from the grid.
‘These projects will be a boost for the development of sustainable timber homes which still face resistance from the established institutions such as insurers, lenders and valuation agents,’ said Peters.
I was pleased to officially open Wales’ first solar village in Glanrhyd earlier this year and it is good to hear Western Solar Ltd has plans to create further developments in partnership, and with the support of our Innovative Housing Programme.
This will not only provide much needed housing for local people, but also address many other issues such as energy efficiency, fuel poverty, skills development and the use of Welsh timber.
Let 1000 Homes Bloom
The UK Government has targeted 30,000 affordable homes by 2020. There is an urgent demand that these homes are not only affordable but sustainable with a low impact on the environment and energy efficient.
Western Solar Ltd has spent £2m researching and developing a sustainable timber building system that is 100% British, relying heavily on local supply chains, labour, materials and powered by Solar energy. It has established an eco factory, built a full prototype solar home and is now completing the first solar village of six homes due for occupation this summer.
The homes can be built at average traditional build costs of £1100/sqm but offer a whole lot more in terms of energy efficiency (A Rating 105) and environmental impact (A 104). 12,000 KwH of annual energy production make the homes net contributors to the grid. 11” of insulation together with Passiv house standard windows and design mean each house consumes around 12% of the energy of a traditional home.
This is a revolutionary concept in UK building methods relying more on manufactured components than on site construction. It will disrupt the existing industry of bricks, mortar, concrete and steel and will increasingly occupy an important space in affordable house provision.
We plan to leverage our investment in a joint venture to create 1000 homes across the UK. The preferred partner will be a company that can share our vision and brings low cost finance and affordable land such as distressed acreage previously not thought suitable for domestic construction.
The JV will produce a 5% return recovered through a rental property portfolio of at least £150m establish over a five years. This will only interest a company that is committed to a long-term play of 25 years minimum. There will clearly be a significant amount of reputational value with XYZ Solar Homes and the opportunity to grow a much more substantial business in the long term.
Western Solar’s eco hamlet in Glanrhyd is a groundbreaking and innovative venture which demonstrates how the use of renewable energy can help tackle our national problem of a lack of affordable housing. I was hugely impressed with the scale of the viewion and the way local skills are being deployed and developed through the project. The enthusiasm and expertise of the whole Western Solar team comes across very strongly. They are pioneering a way of designing and building homes which will become ever more important in the years ahead.Secretary of State for Wales