Office space and café in former factory, Yeovil, UK

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The Glove Factory in Yeovil is a new £7.4 million development consisting of 27 houses, 10 apartments and four shops in the vicinity of a disused factory. The factory building itself has been redeveloped as a café and office space. Initially planned by South Somerset District Council (SSDC) and the council’s regeneration group Yeovil Vision, permission was granted in 2009 for the development to ZeroC, based in Dorchester. The project makes full use of passive solar, water reduction and recycling, and insulating materials.

Results and impacts

As well as being constructed using sustainable building methods, some of the properties are equipped with renewable and sustainable energy technology, supplied by Ecofirst Consult, Dorchester. Technology used within the Glove Factory includes:


Energy efficiency measures, such as high levels of insulation and low energy lighting

Grey water recycling District biomass heat – 70 per cent reduction in carbon emissions

Solar thermal arrays – free hot water for 60 per cent of the year

Solar photovoltaic arrays – free electricity as well as payments from the FiT scheme. The Feed in Tariff (FiT) is a government scheme that rewards people for generating their own clean electricity. This can amount to a substantial amount of money; the Code 6 house should bring the owners £1,000 a year.


Although not all homes are yet inhabited, significant carbon savings have already been made across the site:



What can be learned from this?
The Code 6 house was the last of the buildings to be finished, due to the need for new planning consent. However, the government is aiming that in the future all new homes will be Code 6, so it was worth the extra difficulty in order to complete the first Code 6 residence in Somerset. The learning and adaptation required puts ZeroC ahead of many other companies in terms of experience in this area.

Aims and objectives of this sustainable energy action

New planning permission was reapplied for to allow for the redesign of the Code 6 house, although ESHA architects, based in Bristol, chose to preserve as many visible aspects of the original design as possible in order to maximise the chances of being granted consent. The roof line was altered to make solar panels more efficient, and the building material itself was changed to one that will reduce heat loss through the walls.

In 2010, ZeroC and SSDC worked together to be awarded a government grant of £470,000 to improve the sustainability of 13 of the dwellings:

  • Two at Code 4 - biomass heating for all hot water and heating requirements
  • Ten at Code 5 - Code 4 improvements plus up to 1.7 kW capacity solar photovoltaic arrays on each property
  • One at Code 6, which required an entirely different approach to the building of the house

Lessons learnt

What can be learned from this?
The Code 6 house was the last of the buildings to be finished, due to the need for new planning consent. However, the government is aiming that in the future all new homes will be Code 6, so it was worth the extra difficulty in order to complete the first Code 6 residence in Somerset. The learning and adaptation required puts ZeroC ahead of many other companies in terms of experience in this area.


Final notes on why it was successful
The reason that this scheme was so successful is in part due to SSDC and ZeroC working well together with several other local companies that contributed to the project. The development of the green energy sector requires the involvement of many different parties on different scales; the Glove Factory is a prime example of this on a human scale. Keeping business local ensures that money does not get diverted from the south west to other areas of the country, and therefore continues to benefit the region.


How can others get involved?
This is not necessarily the limit of potential on this site; there are many properties without renewable energy installations and more that have not reached their full potential. Further investment by the homeowner, or even by GFCMC, could increase generation. Solar PV technology is certainly cheaper to buy than it was, although reduced FiT repayments may hinder how cost-effective it would be. However some companies can supply devices at a lower unit rate when bought in bulk, thus GFCMC may be a sensible route to use if many residents work together to support the installation of more renewable technology.

Partners

Who is involved?

  • South Somerset District Council – the landowner and is the parent of Yeovil Vision who earmarked the site for regeneration in 2005
  • ZeroC – site developer who benefits from profit from the sale of the houses
  • Property owners – those with the relevant technology will receive bill reductions and/or income from the FiT scheme
  • ESHA – architects specialising in sustainable development
  • Acheson Construction – completed the ground-works and construction
  • Local business – retail space within the development
  • Ecofirst Consult – provided the solar PV, solar thermal and biomass boiler units

Contact details

Craig Bates, Zero C Holdings Limited
01305 250427

info@zerocholdings.co.uk

Sophie Slater, Regen SW

01392 494399

intern@regensw.co.uk

http://glovefactory.co.uk
http://www.zerocholdings.co.uk

Further information

Quotation from a stakeholder


“The Glove Factory development has proved to be a resounding success in terms of creating an excellent benchmark for future sustainable construction in the region. The site has enabled many parties, from school children to industry professionals, to learn much more about delivering relatively low cost homes with high sustainable standards. The fact that the most sustainable homes on the site have sold first is a clear indication that discerning purchasers are making low running costs a high priority when choosing a new home.”


Craig Bates MRICS, Associate Director Special Projects, ZeroC Holdings Ltd

Photo: www.regensw.co.uk/