This project is part of a programme of works to deliver energy efficient housing on five sites, and the largest council housing project for 50-years in Salford. The low energy homes will form part of the Salford Carbon Neutral Strategywhich aims to deliver zero carbon across all new development by 2028.
Ryall Avenue is one of a limited number of Passivhaus certified social housing contracts nationwide. The project has a required minimum standard for all homes to be designed to Passivhaus Low Energy standard, with two on this project certified against Passivhaus Classic standard (11 over the full programme of works). This is an equivalent of 25% improvement over the 2010 Building Regulations.
These new homes produce 1.6 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to the average household, which produce 6 tonnes of CO2 per year. To achieve these standards, early collaboration with the customers was key. One of four phases, Ryall Avenue consists of 41 homes (six semi-detached timber-frame houses and 35 light gauge steel-frame apartments, with a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms).
The project successfully completed on time, within budget and with no RIDDOR reportable accidents. There has been great will between all delivery partners, all of whom have bought into the concept that great things can be achieved in solving Salford’s local housing issues. This development highlights the benefits of sustainable affordable housing, acting as a positive role model to encourage similar projects across the Northwest.
Working collaboratively to deliver solutions: The client design team had not included some underlying design principles within the design, which we were able to assist with and add in. For example, positioning properties for solar gain, use of large/small windows dependant on the orientation. Originally the architect wanted a ‘signature design’, which challenged the budget of the affordable council homes. We worked closely
with Salford Council in achieving innovative Passivhaus requirements giving the client a measurable approach.
Reducing living costs and improving indoor air quality: The development moves away from gas as a source of heating to mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. This modern efficient system reduces heating demand, keeps homes well maintained and reduces living costs (potential savings of up to £160 per year on heating, hot water and lighting). It also delivers good quality indoor air, without compromising health, comfort and wellbeing of its inhabitants.
Social value investment into the community: We produced a social value programme aligned with the National TOMs framework (Themes, Outcomes and Measurements). We invested into the community, working with Salford City Council and stakeholders to provide full-time employment opportunities, use of local supply chain, visit local schools and colleges, provide work experience placements, donate in-kind contributions and volunteer time to support local community projects. Some of the successes over the programme of works include appointing four and sustaining 22 apprentices, providing a four-week work placement, providing five four-week placements for students at Walkden High school and taking part in a community project.As part of our commitment, Seddon supported several people who have been struggling to find or get back into work. This includes helping 21 people obtain CSCS cards via the Broughton Trust (17 of which have now gone on to find full time employment). We are also working closely with community organisations to help vulnerable groups, such as care leavers into the workplace. We successfully recruited Salford resident, Michael Hearne through the Government Kick Start initiative.Eight students from Salford City College completed 11-day placements on Seddon sites through the Industry Partnership Scheme.
Ensuring the key principals of Passivhaus is understood by all: Approximately 85% of the works is subcontracted, supplemented by Seddon in-house trades. Seddon held weekly workshops on Passivhaus and the interface between work packages. PRP Architects provided a detailed suite of drawings showing key interfaces for the independent Passivhaus Assessor to review. Key stage inspection and testing plans were developed, and additional training given to each subcontract supervisor and Black Hat to allow for Passivhaus delivery. Key milestone hold points were included within the build schedule. Specific details drawn by the architect ensured compliance with thermal bridging, with additional air testing included to ensure capsulation.
Early appointment of consultants: To coordinate architectural and structural engineering designs, both the timber-frame and structural framing system subcontractor were appointed early to the design team and
process. This was particularly important for a fully integrated design approach incorporating Passivhausprincipals, including improved insulation U-Values, thermal bridging, airtightness, higher performingwindows and doors.
Supporting the client in achieving requirements: Seddon successfully worked with Salford City Council identifying innovative ways where we could support the client in achieving Passivhaus requirements. Led by the dedicated Operations Manager through the lifecycle of the project, we continually engaged with the client and key stakeholders. We held regular design team meetings and client meetings, including design workshops and factory visits, as well as jointly attending Passivhaus training workshops with the Council. In collaboration with the client, Seddon introduced Passivhaus requirements to site inductions to explain requirements of detailing and tests.
Appointment of an Air Tightness Coordinator: We appointed an air tightness coordinator, who tookresponsibility for airtightness management, education and training across the site. It was important to define this role, with responsibilities relating to airtightness at an early stage and communicate this to all site workers. This included training on the airtightness strategy and design, installation of airtightness products, airtightness testing or the implementation of airtightness management.
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions: Seddon adopted several polices to reduce carbon dioxide from daily activities, which included working with Salford City Council to design value engineer solutions and utilise renewable and recyclable resources wherever possible, and working as a team to actively to reduce wasteand energy consumption.
Dedicated in-house expertise: Seddon also allocated a Passivhaus Champion on site, to ensure a trained and dedicated person with expertise was present to provide an easily accessible contact for the Council.