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AIMC4 consortium announces its sites

19 Apr 11 A consortium of housebuilders working on a project to develop Code Level 4 sustainable homes by relying on the structure and fabric of the building rather than renewable energy sources has identified the pilot sites.

The AIMC4 consortium comprises Stewart Milne, Crest Nicholson and Barratt Developments, backed by H+H UK, BRE and Oxford Brookes University.

AIMC4 is a £6.4m project, with £3.2m investment from the consortium partners, matched with £3.2m from the Technology Strategy Board. 

Planning permission has been secured for 17 homes that are designed to meet energy level four of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Level four will be mandatory by 2013 but it is not yet clear how this can be achieved effectively and economically. The AIMC4 project is intended to provide lessons to show the way.

Stewart Milne Group will build eight AIMC4 properties in total, spread over three sites across the UK, using Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ Sigma II Build System.  Two large, detached family homes are being built at its Leathan Fields development in Portlethen and a further three homes will be constructed at its Athena Grange development in Prestonpans, East Lothian.  Stewart Milne will also be working with the Communities Gateway Association and Adactus Housing Association at its Adelphi House development in Preston to build a terrace of three three-bedroom homes, designed to meet all HCA, Lifetime Homes and Secure by Design requirements.

Crest Nicholson will build five AIMC4 homes at its Noble Park development on the outskirts of Epsom, Surrey.  All five homes at the site, in a conservation area surrounded by green space and park land, will meet all elements of the Code for sustainable homes Level 4 and comply with Lifetime Homes.  The AIMC4 plots will comprise one four-bedroom, detached house using a masonry cavity wall construction and a terrace of four four-bed townhouses using SIPS (structural insulation panel system) construction.  The homes will be released for sale to the general public soon.

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Barratt Northampton, on behalf of Barratt Developments, will build four AIMC4 units as part of its Meridian Park development in Corby, Northamptonshire.  The AIMC4 homes will comprise of three- and four-bedroom properties and work is expected to start in June 2011.

Crest Nicholson group sustainability executive Elizabeth Ness said: “This is a groundbreaking moment for the AIMC4 partners and a significant step forward for the project as a whole.  The supply chain selection process has been a fascinating journey and it will be great to see all of the hard work come together as the sites go live.  All the developers have been working closely with local authorities to gain planning permissions and there has been a very positive response, with senior council figures excited about being involved in such an important housing initiative.  

“Once completed, the AIMC4 units will offer consumer-friendly, energy-efficient homes and the subsequent post occupancy evaluations will help inform the future of low carbon housing.”

Throughout the build process, H+H Ltd UK and Stewart Milne Timber Systems will be supporting the developers with their technical knowledge. BRE’s SMARTWaste and CALIBRE tools will be used to monitor efficiency, productivity and waste management.  Once the homes have been completed and occupied, Oxford Brookes University will then carry out monitoring and occupancy evaluation to assess performance and customer reaction. 

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