Southampton City Council redevelopment attracts ringing endorsement for sustainability and energy efficiency

The first completed section of Southampton City Council’s redevelopment of Townhill Park has been celebrated with ringing endorsements of the scheme’s energy-efficient features and sustainable design.
Southampton City Council redevelopment attracts ringing endorsement for sustainability and energy efficiency
Smart meter installation. Courtesy of Southampton City Council and CitiZen Energy

Six brand-new three-bedroom houses, plus a block of 50 flats containing a mixture of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes, have recently been completed, with the council working with building contractor Drew Smith Group.

The Townhill Park redevelopment boasts impressive environmental credentials, which not only support the council’s green agenda – and its newly launched Green City Charter – but will also ultimately have a positive impact on residents’ energy bills.

New-look Townhill Park’s environmental credentials stack up in that, as a whole, the project has delivered very positive CO2 Emission and Energy Efficiency ratings (Dwelling CO2 Emission Rate - DER) which are 19.07 percent better than the government’s Target CO2 Emission Rates (TER). The building also has a Dwelling Fabric Energy Efficiency (DFEE) which is 17.24 percent better than the Target Fabric Energy Efficiency Rates set out by the secretary of state within Building Regulations Approved Document Part L.  DER/TER improvements will save the occupiers on average £74.03 (41 percent) per year on their energy bills, when compared to a system that meets Building Regulation requirements.

“We’re delighted to have delivered this impressive development, which not only provides quality accommodation for our residents, but also has strong environmental credentials” said Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Environment. “We’re proud to have installed solar panels, a green roof and energy-efficient heating systems. It’s great that all residents are also supplied with competitively priced green electricity from the offset through CitizEn Energy. This project highlights the council’s commitment to prioritising the green agenda and helping to make Southampton a cleaner, greener and healthier city for all.” 

The flats have had a total of 104 solar PV panels installed on the roof of the block. The power they generate will be used in the communal area’s power and lighting circuitry. The energy saved from these panels is the equivalent of leaving a 42” television running continuously for 15 years.

The redevelopment also incorporates energy-efficient heating systems, which is vital at a time when the UK has a major problem with decarbonisation of heating. The communal gas fire boiler system has a seasonal efficiency of 95.9 percent, which supplies water heated to a nominal temperature of 55 degrees Celsius to each home through a network of flow-and-return mechanical pipework. Any heat loss from this pipework is used to heat the communal areas of the building.

Heat Interface Units (HIU) installed in the development use the heated water from the communal boilers to regulate the temperature of domestic cold water to the desired temperature of the occupier for washing and bathing.

The heated water from the communal boilers is also regulated for domestic space heating within each flat. Having a single bulk gas supply to the communal boilers gives Southampton City Council the opportunity to negotiate a preferential rate with the gas supplier which can be passed onto tenants.

A green roof on the fourth floor of the block improves the fabric energy efficiency of the building by moderating heat flow through a building by shading, increased insulation and thermal mass. Green roofs provide potential energy savings by improving building insulation characteristics.

CitizEn Energy, an ethical energy provider set up by Southampton City Council, offers residents competitively priced gas and green electricity, along with a smart meter to help manage their energy, from day one of moving in. CitizEn Energy have recently celebrating reaching a milestone 1,500 customers, and any profit they make goes straight back into projects to help improve the lives of the people within the local community. CitizEn Energy works with not-for-profit organisations to offer eligible customers grants to help to improve the energy efficiency of their home. In addition, CitizEn Energy voluntarily signed up to Warm Home Discount which means customers who are getting Pension Credit, or are a low-income household, could qualify for this one-off discount of £140 on their energy bill. This all helps to make homes warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to run.

Over the next eight years, 665 new, quality flats and houses are to be built at Townhill Park – an important part of the council’s commitment to providing more affordable council homes in Southampton.

Plans for the new-look estate also include environmental improvements to Frogs Copse, improved pedestrian and cycling paths, traffic calming of Meggeson Avenue, a new community space – or ‘Village Green’ – featuring outdoor meeting space and play facilities, a new convenience store and, potentially, a café.

“Southampton City Council is committed to delivering more affordable council-owned homes, and it’s essential these homes are also of quality and affordable to run as well” added Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture. “The regeneration of Townhill Park is underway and is a great example of how the council is going the extra mile to deliver sustainable homes, with high-tech energy-efficiency measures in every property. I hope residents will be very happy living here and I’m looking forward to welcoming more new residents as the Townhill Park redevelopment moves forward.”

For additional information:

Southampton City Council Green City Charter

CitiZen Energy

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