Specialist academics from Sheffield Hallam University, University of Salford and as far as Australia visited Park Dale in Airedale this week to see how the site has become one of the UK’s largest housing developments with a zero-carbon footprint.
The guests visited the 91 homes at Park Dale as an example of a low carbon housing development which included a presentation by WDH on the history of the site and wider retrofit work that has been carried out to promote affordable warmth across the Wakefield district.
They were also given a tour of the site, a visit to the boiler house and learning centre, before getting the chance to meet tenants in their homes.
Dr Stephen Berry, Manager - Research Node for Low Carbon Living at the University of South Australia, said: “The estate is a wonderful example of housing of the future. It’s a great trial of how a whole package of solutions, are delivering good outcomes for residents.”
He added: “There were lots of fabulous learnings to be taken to help us deliver exactly the right thing when it comes to these ‘super homes’. It’s so important to hear from the tenants themselves and how they benefit fully from them. The houses are built for families to generate efficiency in general everyday necessities including cooking and heating. There is a clear improvement to residents’ quality of life.”
Steve Wright, who lives in one of WDH’s super-efficient homes, said: “The money we save is fantastic. Our utility bills have more than halved. You have to use the facilities properly of course to feel the benefit but the benefits are exceptional. I very rarely need to put the heating on. Overall it’s very efficient and the benefits of the development fit into the modern lifestyle we have.”
Simon Gutteridge, Sustainability Manager for WDH, said: “It was an honour to have experts in their field to visit one of our neighbourhoods. We take great care in ensuring our developments improve health and wellbeing in our tenants as well as making the cost of living more affordable by improving energy efficiency. It is clear that our developments, such as Park Dale, are leading the way in sustainable living and making a lasting and positive impact on the lives of our tenants.”
Completed in 2011, Park Dale was developed by WDH to offer realistic and affordable ways in which to build economical homes for sale and rent. This has resulted in improved recycling, and lowering the cost of energy bills by 40% compared to the average home. The site has gone on to be one of the most popular developed by WDH featuring 91 properties built to level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the social investment has been a great success, including employment opportunities and over £1,500 raised for local charities.