Birmingham-based housing association, Midland Heart, are preparing to welcome their first residents to their affordable, eco-friendly homes in Birmingham.
Eco Drive, just off Grosvenor Road in Handsworth, is the first social housing development to meet the Government’s Future Homes Standard, which is due to replace current Building Standards in 2025.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and John Edwards, Chair of Midland Heart, visited the development on Friday 13 May, to see the progress of Eco Drive and speak to Christine Carter, a customer moving into one of our new homes.
During his visit to project 80, Andy Street said: "The key advantage to the residents moving in is that their energy bills will be 65% less than they would be in a standard new home. All in all, it’s incredibly innovative from Midland Heart and points the way to the future and I’m very grateful and appreciative for what they’ve done."
John Edwards said: "We’re really proud to be leading this pioneering project and working with a number of local partners to understand the Future Homes Standard in practice. The homes built on Eco Drive look like traditional homes and are built largely using regular materials which have been sourced locally and used innovatively.
"Our residents have a big part to play in this project and their feedback will help to shape the way we build in the future. As some aspects of living in these homes will be different, we’ve been working closely with them to provide training and helpful user guides, and will gather their feedback to understand the impact of living in new, more efficient homes."
The 12 family homes will produce up to 80% less carbon emissions and will be part of a 12 month research study by Birmingham City University to inform future housing policy.
Christine Carter, a local Housing Officer, is moving into one of the new homes with her two daughters from a maisonette in Newtown. She said:
"I’m really excited to move in, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever I’m just excited for moving day now. I was shown the technology during my induction a few weeks ago and I think it’s genius, I’m looking forward to sitting down and getting the feel of things."
The homes are being built in partnership with local construction company, Tricas and are due for completion in June 2022.
Midland Heart have also secured planning permission for a further twelve low carbon apartments in Elvetham Road, Birmingham which are due for completion in August 2022.