The launch of Acorn Green represents our commitment to the implementation of the best possible design and technologies to further drive down the carbon footprint of our homes, moving towards long-term sustainable housing in communities.
As we have always done, each development we design and build is looked at on its own merits. There is no standard layout or design and this approach also applies to sustainability. As technology evolves, so do our homes. The way in which we live is constantly changing and Acorn’s innovative thinking ensures we can respond in a proactive way.
A fabric-first approach…
We start by maximising the performance of the building envelope and then look at ways to further improve the building’s sustainability. High-performance double and triple glazing are the norm across all Acorn projects. Where possible, ground and air source heat pumps, MVHR systems, PV panels and solar thermal converters are used for efficient heating of our homes.
Where possible, smart technology systems are fitted to assist with energy-saving and electric car charging points are installed. We also consider rainwater harvesting strategies along with sustainable urban drainage (SuDs).
Many of our schemes involve re-using existing buildings. The environmental benefits of repairing, refurbishing and saving buildings from demolition are huge, minimising disruption to the local community, reducing pollution and ensuring the best use of natural resources.
Using existing buildings rather than demolishing and building new structures preserves their embodied energy, decreasing primary energy use and, therefore CO2 emissions.
Acorn Green extends beyond the buildings themselves and incorporates their surroundings, the local community and people who live and work in them.
Our aim is to create developments that have a positive impact and contribution to the local community with careful consideration given to the environmental impact of our activities.
The health benefits of spending more time outside are becoming more and more apparent, both from a physical and mental health perspective – being close to nature has been proven to lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and boost your mood. The Covid 19 pandemic of 2020 has also put a spotlight on this subject and we’ve seen a shift in what people value most from a home – and easy access to outdoor space is now very much sought after.
At Acorn we have always been ahead of the curve on this subject and this is why we design our homes with as much outdoor space as possible – be it communal or private. Our homes are intended to be a sanctuary, to enhance wellbeing and give peace of mind – to allow our communities, individuals, as well as nature, the opportunity to thrive.
In to the future…
We are continually exploring how we can move nearer towards our zero-carbon goal. Our construction teams are striving towards creating our first zero-carbon housetypes and are implementing further use of lower-carbon materials such as timber frame and timber-based Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).
We are making steps towards having smart systems and smart meters installed as standard as well as working with local authorities on future provision for district heating.
More native planting and trees are being incorporated into sites. Not only does this benefit our residents as higher levels of oxygen are produced, but additional planting will also contribute to wildlife and biodiversity.
We will continue to explore how we can re-use existing buildings in order to reduce embodied energy.