Midland Heart launches UK’s first Future Homes Standard homes

Midland Heart hosted a launch event for its innovative Project 80 developments.

15th Mar 2022 - Developments
By  Sarah O'Leary

The housing association, which owns and manages 34,000 homes across the Midlands, is building the UK’s first homes that will meet the Government’s Future Homes Standard three years ahead of schedule.

The homes, which are being built in partnership with Tricas Construction Ltd, will produce up to 80% less carbon than those built to current standards and will be heavily researched by academics at Birmingham City University to understand the impact the homes have on the environment and residents’ lifestyles.

The project comprises an initial development of 12 family homes in Handsworth and a further 12 maisonettes in Edgbaston, with a commitment by Midland Heart to build up to 80 low carbon homes by 2025. It was launched by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, at an event at Midland Heart’s offices on 4 March.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “I’m delighted to have officially launched Project 80, the UK’s first affordable housing development to satisfy the Government’s new Future Homes Standard being built here in the West Midlands. It’s a great project that showcases brilliant collaboration between organisations and meets all of the climate change requirements, whilst also shining a spotlight on the region.”

Climate change and what we can do to address it, both individually and collectively, has become the defining issue of our age. The UK’s housing stock accounts for around 15% of greenhouse emissions so it’s important that we understand the changes needed to our affordable, new build homes and the impact the new technologies will have on our residents. It was great to welcome Mayor Andy Street to our launch event and showcase this innovative development programme that is putting a spotlight on the region.

Glenn Harris, Chief Executive, Midland Heart

Mike Leonard, CEO of the Building Alliance and Visiting Professor in Manufacturing at Birmingham City University said: "Project 80 is an exemplar Future Homes Standard Demonstrator, featuring high quality homes built on brownfield land for Midland Heart tenants. The level of collaboration between the designers, contractors, manufacturers, regulators and Birmingham City University is outstanding. The focus is all about enhancing the occupier experience and on securing the evidence from the design and construction, followed by 12 months post occupancy research, to support policy makers and industry determine the 2025 Future Homes Standard."

All evidence gathered on Project 80 will help to inform future policy on how the country builds new homes in a way that’s good for both the environment and residents.