Packaged Living and Aviva investors have a £1bn long term housing delivery partnership. Part of Aviva’s funding is from their ‘Climate Transition Fund’, a strictly regulated investor with clear sustainable investment criteria.
The business case for the investment has been developing fossil-free, community-led, sustainable homes for rent. Fundamental to the delivery of this aim was pushing Housebuilder partners to go further on all elements of ESG on the portfolio of development sites. Embedded in the goal has been to remain ahead of the statutory curve of sustainable development by delivering beyond the requirements of primary and secondary planning legislation and the associated Building Regulation improvements.
A non-negotiable fundamental criteria set on all sites within the portfolio is the omission of fossil fuels, ensuring no gas is installed in any of the homes being built. This fossil fuel free approach is a strict requirement of the Aviva funds utilised to fund the developments and required the team to incentivise Housebuilders to move away from their standard approach to housing and instead find innovative solutions for heating homes and seeking wider benefits to the natural environment.
An example scheme delivered through this portfolio partnership was the Assembly Park development in Dothill, Telford. Launched in December 2022, this 195 home site seeks to create a new community of high-quality 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes with the ease of renting in mind. With the ‘fossil fuel free’ criteria driving design decisions, the project team explored various renewable energy generation options alongside the site parameters and local environment. As a result of this every house across the site is fitted with an Air Source Heat Pump, a system which utilises the external air temperature to heat radiators within the home through refrigerants. This system can deliver energy three times more efficiently to heat a home when compared to pure electric alternatives and therefore has major advantages to customers and the environment.
Consultants advising on the development estimate that the direct environmental benefit of the inclusion of these Air Source Heat Pumps is an estimated reduction in carbon footprint of 20 tonnes per home in the first 10 years and estimated energy cost saving in excess of £500 per year per household.