To understand the Future Homes challenge, we’ve created ‘Project 80’, which is a research and development programme in conjunction with Birmingham City University (BCU), key product manufacturers and industry bodies, and contractors.
Together, we are developing, monitoring and understanding over 50 homes that meet the Future Homes Standard before 2025. This will generate a significant body of knowledge to enable us to understand what works for us and our residents. Eco Drive is the first development, featuring 12 homes.
In order to maximize research benefit we utilised several different specifications across the homes. Here are some of the key technologies we used:
- Air-Source Heat Pumps – produce both space heating and hot water (10 homes)
- Hot Water Heat Pumps – produce hot water and can be used in conjunction with panel heaters for space heating (2 homes)
- PV/Solar Panels – produce localised electricity for the homes
- Waste Water Heat Recovery – recovers waste heat from baths and showers and uses that to pre-heat incoming cold feeds (all homes)
- Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery – extracts air from the properties and utilises waste heat to warm incoming fresh air and reduce heat loss (4 homes)
In July 2023, we published our interim report. It shows everything from the methodology and construction, to the experience of our occupants and the lessons we learnt. Click on the button below to see it:
Recognition from the industry
The response to this development has been fantastic with Eco Drive receiving the following awards...
- Social Housing Award at the Insider Midlands Residential Property Awards 2022
- Energy Project of the Year – Residential at The Energy Awards 2022
- Highly Commended - Net Zero at the CE West Midlands Awards 2022
- Sustainability Award at the Chartered Association of Building Engineers Built Environment Awards 2022 (CABE)
We’d like to thank the following for their input and support with this pioneering housing development:
- Birmingham City University
- Building Alliance
- Tricas Construction - contractor
- Oakley Architects - designed
- Hawk Technical – SAP assessor
- Thornton Firkin - EA
- JCBI - CoW
- Ibstock - bricks
- H+H – aircrete blocks that help create efficient, airtight structures that can enhance the performance of energy saving technologies like underfloor heating and air source heat pumps, the latter of which were used in most of the first 12 of Project 80’s homes
- Besblock – curing of these blocks was totally free of fossil fuels and utilised construction waste sourced from the West Midlands area
- Xtratherm - insulation
- Munster – windows and doors
- Envirovent – the energiSava 250 MVHR unit extracts moisture-laden air from the wet rooms such as bathrooms, WCs, kitchen and shower rooms, and at the same time it supplies fresh air into the living areas, recovering the energy from the extracted air. It's highly efficient, affordable to run and has a low carbon footprint. The system is renowned for typically recovering around 60–95% of the heat in exhaust air, therefore improving energy efficiency of the dwellings.
- Vaillant – air source heat pumps
- Baxi – air source heat pumps
- GlenDimplex – hot water heat pumps and heaters
The next stage of Project 80 featured 12 maisonettes built to lower carbon emissions and costs for our customers.
Our research and development programme, which will model the forthcoming Future Homes Standard until 2025.