Development Bank of Wales Backs Building Green Homes
Construction has begun in Wales on the initial sustainable housing project financed by the Development Bank of Wales' discounted Green Homes Incentive.
Wellspring Homes, a company based in Cardiff, is building eight eco-friendly homes in Pearson Way, Neath, with the help of a £1.2 million property development loan.
The location is conveniently situated only a few minutes away from the M4 corridor. The development will comprise four detached family homes with four bedrooms each and four semi-detached properties with two bedrooms each. All of the homes have an energy rating of A and will feature air source heat pumps. Additionally, they will be constructed using Hempcrete, which is a natural material that is considered to be more environmentally friendly than zero-carbon material.
Hempcrete is a type of building material made by blending hemp and lime, which can trap more atmospheric carbon in the material over the building's lifespan than was used during its production and usage. This material has the advantage of being able to store and release heat from the walls of the building, which helps minimise temperature changes, lowers energy consumption, and promotes a comfortable indoor environment. Additionally, the walls made from Hempcrete are breathable and can release internal moisture, which eliminates the possibility of condensation and the growth of mould.
Hadleigh Hobbs, Managing Director of Wellspring Homes, said: “As with all our developments, these properties in Neath will be offering the highest standard of future living, incorporating innovative construction methods. We are using the most sustainable materials available because Wales needs new homes that are well-built, beautiful to live in, and that help our natural environment thrive.
“From the initial concept through the final finishing touches, we are using local contractors who understand our ethos, and we now also have the support of a funding partner who shares our commitment to increasing the number of more thermally efficient and lower carbon homes in Wales. The encouragement of the Development Bank coupled with their helpful approach and attractive lending terms means that we’ve now got the headroom and the confidence to scale up and deliver more sustainable homes."
James Brennan of the Development Bank of Wales said: “Research shows that the operation of buildings accounts for around 30% of emissions in the UK, mainly from heating, cooling, and electricity use. For new buildings, the embodied emissions from construction can make up as much as half of the carbon impacts that the building has throughout its life.
“This means that we have to address the construction methods used by new home developers and offer the financial support required to those that are prepared to make the change to help drive down carbon emissions. Hadleigh and the team at Wellspring Homes are a great example of the kind of developers that we want to support with our Green Homes Incentive. They really are leading a revolution in sustainable living.”
The Welsh Government has provided funding for the Green Homes Incentive, which can be accessed via residential development loans from the Development Bank's property development funds. The incentive involves a reduction in loan fees of up to 2%. Financing for building costs up to 100% is available, with interest accrued and payable throughout the loan term. Eligibility for the incentive will depend on certain criteria, including achieving an EPC-A rating or Passivhaus status, using non-concrete structures, and implementing non-fossil fuel heating systems.
Source: Development Bank of Wales