Ground-breaking sustainable property first of its kind in the UK

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Ground-breaking sustainable property first of its kind in the UK

The Penzer Street property is one of two eco vicarages that have been built on behalf of the Diocese of Worcester by national construction specialists, Speller Metcalfe.

As it stands, the Church of England is currently trying to reduce its carbon footprint by 80 per cent, and Diocese of Worcester felt they could no longer justify current heating costs of £2000 per year. Needing to cater not only to their environmental needs but also increasing capacity, Speller Metcalfe were contracted to build two new properties.

Mark Wild, Diocese Surveyor said: “The eco vicarages will generate more energy than they use, with estimated annual fuel bills at less than £100 per year.

“Neither property will use central heating; instead solar gain will be responsible for heating each building – resulting in two zero-carbon properties that release no CO₂ emissions whatsoever. This is a fantastic step forward for the Diocese of Worcester and shows that we are prepared to put our words into action.”

As well as being zero-carbon, the Penzer Street property has met the highest Government standards for domestic buildings reaching Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Level 6, which takes into account factors such as energy and water use, materials, pollution and ecology.

Alongside meeting CSH standards, the property also conforms to the German ‘Passivhaus’ model, which recognises properties that utilise very small quantities of energy. As part of the build Speller Metcalfe had to ensure the highest levels of airtightness (the rate at which air escapes a building) and insulation.

Bill Cave, Small Works Director who oversaw the project, said: “The Penzer Street property is a prime example of how we strive to communicate effectively with site staff and sub-contractors to ensure we meet the highest standards possible – in this case exceeding our airtightness targets.

“This was a great achievement by the whole team and shows how Speller Metcalfe continues to retain their reputation for being at the forefront of industry and its developments, particularly within environmental technologies.”

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