With the largest “green” residential roof for miles, rainwater harvesting and ultra energy-efficient heating and lighting systems, it has been dubbed the “environmentally friendly community of the future”.
The nine homes in this development also feature thermally treated “burglar proof” windows which keep in more heat while being unbreakable even with crowbars.
Also among the host of green technologies at developer LivEco’s homes at Great House Farm in St Fagans, Cardiff will be a communal charging point for electric cars – believed to be the first of its kind within a suburban residential scheme.
The development, which has created around 30 jobs, will also contain a communal allotment and picturesque landscaped gardens next to open countryside plus a community pond.
Tony Filice, of Cardiff estate agents Kelvin Francis, spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Wales (Residential) said the development was the way forward in home building.
He said: “Energy efficiency is becoming very much the key to new housing developments.
“While this is relatively new to the UK we are behind other countries on this.
“Whenever we get inquiries about homes from people from say, Australia or New Zealand, the first thing they ask about is the energy efficiency rating of the property.
“People who have had homes that are cheap to run do not want to see their energy expenses suddenly shooting up.”
One-bedroom properties within the development will cost about £150,000, it will cost £180,000 for two bedrooms, and a three-bedroom coach house will be on offer for £310,000.
Developer Daniel Ball said: “National housing builders are going to be dragged kicking and screaming down the sustainability route over the next decade and Great House farm is helping to lead the way.”
Funded by the commercial division at Principality Building Society, Mr Ball says the development has been built “way beyond” the current UK energy requirements to produce what he calls some of the most energy-efficient homes in the UK.
He added: “This is a taste of how house building will develop across Wales and the rest of the UK in the next 10 years.
“It’s the first of a new generation of low-energy, sustainable housing schemes. The future is to build in a sustainable and green way but at traditional prices.
“I believe we have succeeded in pushing the boundaries of sustainable building design and development to create a community of eco-homes that not only look good, but will protect their owners from ever-rising energy bills while, at the same time, providing an aspirational eco-friendly lifestyle of the future.”
A third of the new homes were released and sold off-plan within weeks, with the remaining six properties due to go on the market on completion of the scheme in the next few weeks.
Peter Reilly, of selling agents Savills in Cardiff, said: “We have found that potential purchasers are increasingly looking to get more from the property they buy – they want to buy into a community.
“We believe that Great House Farm will fulfil this need. It will offer property within a sustainable community a stone’s throw from the city of Cardiff.
“Energy bills are becoming increasingly important in people’s choice of home and these new homes contain in-built features that will help householders to save money and to keep an eye on where their energy is going.”
The homes feature:
Green Sedum “living roofs”, a mixture of low growing plants that do not need cutting. Previously, grass roofs have been criticised for the maintenance they need, while working (particularly mowing) at heights has caused health and safety problems.
Heat pumps that utilise heat within the homes from people, washing machines and electrical devices. The heat is condensed and re-circulated to slash heating bills.
All round underfloor heating.
High-performance thermally treated “burglar proof” windows and doors which are said to be unbreakable even with crowbars. The double-glazed windows will also keep in more heat using an argon gas system.
Highly water-efficient sanitary systems plus “smart meters” so residents can examine their energy use.
Optional photo-voltaic cell technology to help with energy costs and low energy lighting throughout.
Community electric car charging point.
Efficient exhaust air heat pumps with integral hot water and mechanical ventilation.