Our partnership with energy and sustainability specialists, Energist

June 17, 2021

In moving towards achieving our net-zero carbon goal by 2035, we are thrilled to announce that we have appointed sustainability specialists, Energist as a long-term partner, who will assess our portfolio and future developments from both construction and operational perspectives. Having worked with The Berkeley Group, Taylor Wimpey, Bellway and Redrow Energist has substantial expertise and experience in the construction sector; the specialists are now set to deliver a bespoke roadmap of solutions and will provide us with ongoing consultancy.

With a focus on London, the South West of England and South Wales and led by our ‘different by design’ ethos, we currently have 14 live sites and a further 10 in the pipeline, all of which are unique, with many featuring existing or historical buildings. Our commitment to reusing buildings wherever possible is our USP within the housebuilding industry, however it does mean that this bespoke approach to each site presents a greater challenge for us as every one must be assessed individually. The standardised approach to assessment that developers with more homogeneous design and build can deploy is not open to us at Acorn, but this challenge is part of what makes our designs interesting.

At Acorn we take a fabric first approach; working with a site’s existing buildings or listed elements, then we work carefully to make the building’s envelope as efficient as possible with thoughtful architecture going above and beyond industry standards. We’re proud to say that the resulting developments often far surpass the average Energy Efficiency Assessments and U-values required. These eco-credentials combined with our designers’ thoughtful place-making are often cited by our buyers as an important draw.

The Links, Porthcawl

Julian Hampson, our Group Design Director and Acorn Green Ambassador  says: “As a regeneration specialist, we pride ourselves on working carefully with architects, heritage experts and local communities on how to transform sites whilst incorporating their history into our designs, often by retaining existing buildings. They say the greenest building is the one that already exists, and we embrace that wherever possible; the resulting homes reduce embodied carbon in addition to retaining unique character and a rich sense of place and space, something our buyers really appreciate. This method does mean we need to develop bespoke approaches for each site to meet our green goals without compromising the complex nature of each construction programme.

As we work through our detailed sustainability initiative over the coming months and analyse the data for the current live sites, we plan to work towards staying ahead of the new Future Homes industry requirements. By 2025, the Government has announced that it does not want any new home to be built with fossil fuel heating, such as a natural gas boiler and any new housing will also have to be future-proofed so that no further energy efficiency retrofit work will be necessary to enable them to become zero-carbon.

We are planning to meet and surpass these requirements ahead of the Government target and hope to have its first design types and construction programmes for zero-carbon homes by 2030 with the net zero carbon goal to be achieved company-wide by 2035.

Cubis Bruton, Bruton

One of the first landmark developments to champion the Acorn Green kitemark will be Saxonvale, the regeneration of 10-acre brownfield site in Frome, Somerset.  A high-quality bespoke residential led mixed-use development; it is set to offer circa 300 new homes, a variety of commercial spaces including offices, live-work units and other commercial space. Saxonvale will create a sustainable living and working community that capitalises on proximity to Frome town centre and the presence of the river with its associated network of footpaths, enables lifestyles for which access by foot and bicycle are central features.

In our current portfolio, several key developments incorporate green elements and in places are up to 150% better than current regulations. The leading sites are The Old Printworks in Frome, Brooks Dye Works in St Werburghs, Cubis Bruton in Bruton and Cross Farm in Wedmore. Some green elements to highlight include Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery systems, solar panels, electric car charging or cabling for future installation of electric car charging points, high performance double or triple glazing, enhanced insulation, LED lights, energy saving appliances and smart meters. Our Acorn Green initiative will also strive to help our buyers understand what some of these elements mean and how to use them effectively.

We also see the ecology of each site as paramount to creating a green community – so we look to relocating protected wildlife, preservation processes including the installation of bat boxes, hedgerow corridors, bee bricks, tree planting, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), hedgehog paths and communal open green space wherever possible, to name but a few.

Cottrell Gardens, Bonvilston

Over the coming months, Energist will carry out assessments of all current Acorn developments to better understand the supply chain, build specification and construction process to help identify potential for improving each element’s sustainability.

Julian Hampson, Group Design Director and Acorn Green Ambassador for Acorn Property Group says: “We are delighted to implement our Acorn Green principles across our current development portfolio and pipeline sites. For years we have sought to go above and beyond building regulations and deliver environmentally conscious homes, with each site needing an individual approach. We believe sustainability is not just about carbon emissions but also to the sustainability of place, healthy living, surrounding biodiversity; all this feeds into our placemaking. Launching Acorn Green helps deliver our roadmap towards net zero carbon, but also brings a focus to what we have been doing for years, helping our partners, suppliers, local authorities, and customers understand why being green is so important to us all. We have now partnered with Energist to deliver long-term consultancy for how we as a Group can streamline our green efforts and exceed the upcoming legalisation changes, moving towards our ultimate net zero carbon goal.”

Stuart Clark, Director, Energist UK says: “Energist are incredibly excited to be working closely with Acorn for the foreseeable future, as we see unprecedented change in the world of energy and sustainability. This is change that both Acorn and ourselves are one step ahead of, and our shared desire to explore the cutting-edge of sustainability will create homes that are comfortable to live in, cheap to run, and have minimal impact on the environment. This ethos is energising and will continually drive us to be at the forefront of our industry, offering expert, impartial advice to support Acorn on their journey to net zero carbon.”


Related Posts

See all

Topping Out Ceremony at The Old Printworks

On the 12th September, we reached a momentous milestone in the development of The Old Printworks in Frome where we hosted a 'Topping Out' ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first two phases
More >>

Frome Artist Living at The Old Printworks Selected for Hollywood Film

A Frome artist has etched an exciting new chapter in the story of The Old Printworks after receiving the Hollywood seal of approval for his artwork Tim Slatter moved into a house at The Old Printwo
More >>

Bristol Civic Society Award

BROOKS DYE WORKS DEVELOPMENT WINS BRISTOL CIVIC SOCIETY DESIGN AWARD  The regeneration of the historic Brooks Dye Works in St Werburghs, has won the prestigious Bristol Civic Society Design Award
More >>

A Spotlight on Wiltshire

A Spotlight on Wiltshire Landlocked between Somerset, Dorset, Berkshire and Gloucestershire, Wiltshire is the county that has been the South West’s best kept secret, however with superb walks, a tr
More >>

Urchfont – The Wiltshire Village Full of English Charm

Nestled in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, sits Urchfont, a picturesque village exuding quintessential English charm Named ‘Best Kept Village’ several times in Wiltshire’s Best Kept V
More >>

Construction Milestone at St. Leonards Quarter, Exeter

St Leonards Quarter in Exeter recently celebrated a momentous milestone in the development of new homes, with a topping out ceremony Set just a mile outside of the bustling Exeter city centre,  th
More >>

Spotlight on London

London is no doubt, one of the most attractive cities in Europe, in fact, the world Offering rich history, iconic landmarks and diverse cultures, it is no wonder people from all over the globe flock t
More >>

Spotlight on South Wales

A Spotlight on South Wales Picturesque countryside stretches for miles across hills and wooded valleys, whilst rolling waves crash on shifting sands, South Wales is known for its beautiful landscap
More >>

Meet the team at The Old Printworks

Quirky independent shops, picturesque Somerset countryside and a strong sense of community – are just some of the reasons that make Frome such an attractive destination Named by The Times as the
More >>

Q&A With Internorm

With our impact on the environment being at the forefront of our minds, we are thrilled to be working with some fantastic companies who care about sustainability and climate change as much as we do In
More >>

Q&A With Worcester Bosch

Here we talk to Ben Conyers, New Build Sales Manager from Worcester Bosch Worcester Bosch are pioneering manufacturers of energy efficient heating and hot water solutions, here we discuss mechanical e
More >>

Giving homes a new lease of life

Giving old buildings a new lease of life is our forte at Acorn and has become our USP in the housebuilding industry – it is this uniqueness that makes us true to our ethos of ‘different by design
More >>