A project to find out the energy consumption of homes built by WDH is set to begin.
Organised by WDH in partnership with the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, ‘Warmer Wakefield Homes’ will see up to 100 properties involved in an exploratory study to find out what measures could be undertaken to improve the build quality of its homes to lower tenants’ energy bills.
The project, which concludes in December 2016, feeds into WDH’s corporate and social objectives to build more affordable and energy efficient homes following a commitment to spend £650 million on both this and improving the estates it currently manages.
WDH has already delivered nearly 700 properties across the Wakefield district since forming 10 years ago.
Adam Green, WDH Homebuilder Manager, oversees the construction of homes built by WDH’s own in-house workforce of construction tradespeople.
He said: “We want to find out whether the design of our homes matches the performance we expect to see from them. By monitoring energy usage and carrying out ‘thermal modelling’ we hope to see areas where we can improve the way we build homes. If we find more cost effective, more energy efficient materials and possibly areas where we can improve our ways of working, we’ll be able to drive bills down further – which is what we really want to see.”
The project is being part-funded through an Innovate UK grant for innovative collaborative working. Through it a Knowledge Transfer Partnership has been established between WDH and Leeds Beckett University. As part of this Agnieszka Knera has been seconded to join the WDH Homebuilder team as a Building Energy Analyst for the duration of the project. She will work alongside WDH’s in-house construction team to ensure value for money is achieved through continuous development of its new-build housing stock.
She said: “We’re at the stage now where we’re writing out to and meeting with customers to ask them whether we can monitor their energy usage in their Homebuilder constructed homes. Hopefully we’ll have plenty of willing participants as the feedback so far has been encouraging. As WDH has such a large stock of homes - over 30,000 – the project has real long-term potential to improve homes across the district.”