On a sister site we have seen the news that Jackie and Shaun have set up `eco-communities` in Cornwall and on the Devon/Somerset border, respectively, and another – Richard Douthwaite – lived to see the Feasta office leave Dublin and move to Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary which is the site of another eco-village.
Now we welcome news that Stuart Parkinson has moved in to his new home with Lancaster Cohousing.
Springhill Cohousing, Stroud explains that cohousing balances the advantages of home ownership with the benefits of shared common facilities and connections with neighbours. These co-operative neighbourhoods are organised, planned and managed by the residents themselves. The private homes contain the features of conventional homes and residents also have access to a common house with shared facilities such as a dining room, an area for childcare, workshops and laundry. Resident cooked dinners are often available in the common house for those who wish to participate.
The site is just outside Lancaster on the outskirts of the village of Halton and offers stunning views of the river Lune. Halton Village has a school, shops, pub etc.
It is 3 miles from Lancaster City Centre which can be easily accessed by a riverside cycle path or regular buses. The homes have been designed to meet the PassivHaus standard; this approach has three main strands:
- Minimise heat loss – super insulation, triple glazing, compact built form.
- Minimise ventilation heat loss – heat recovery ventilation and airtight construction.
- Optimise solar gain for winter heat.
- Energy use for heating will be less than 15kWh/m2 per year, achieved through very careful attention to airtightness and thermal bridging, and the use of an efficient ventilation system with heat recovery.
The plan is to supply hot water and the single radiator required in each house through a woodchip district heating system, pre-heated using solar thermal panels. The woodchip will come from managed woodlands in Lancashire and Cumbria.
Lancaster Cohousing has collaborated with Halton Lune Hydro – which plans to install a hydro electric generator on a nearby weir – to set up Halton Carbon Positive, which has been named as a winner of the Rural Carbon Challenge Fund, a scheme managed by DEFRA, to support renewable energy projects in rural areas across England’s North West. It will receive a £432,900 Government grant which will pay for adaptations to ensure the hydro’s turbine does not harm the salmon, sea trout and eels for which the Lune is famed, and will help fund the installation of a district heating system, distributing heat from a single woodchip biomass boiler and solar thermal collectors to a network of radiators around the Cohousing development via insulated pipes.
We wish them well. To read more about the project go to: