Bicester Eco Town
Triple glazed timber windows from Rationel feature in UK’s first Eco Town at NW Bicester
Rationel is proud to have its timber window products at the centre of the UK’s first eco town, Elmsbrook at NW Bicester in Oxfordshire led by A2Dominion. This new development is set in the heart of Oxfordshire’s countryside, just an hour from London and within easy reach of Oxford City Centre and Birmingham.
The development won a string of awards for its sustainable credentials, including being only one of 11 projects worldwide, to receive the Bioregional’s One Planet Living Status, proving its wholehearted commitment to advanced innovation in sustainable living. Elmsbrook is also one of the Government’s 10 NHS-supported Healthy New Towns, in recognition of the innovative approach to creating a development where sustainable and healthy living is at the heart.
FABRICA by A2Dominion launched the first phase of 91 true zero carbon homes for sale in June 2015, out of a total to be built of 393. All units on the first phase now completed and occupied and they achieved Level 5 in the Code for Sustainable Homes. A total of 6,000 new highly energy efficient homes will be built in total at NW Bicester, along with all of the supporting facilities and infrastructure to create this “Eco Town”.
All homes receive the heat and hot water from the gas fired low carbon source onsite Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) via a district heat network. Each unit has on average 34m2 of solar photovoltaic panels per roof and rainwater harvesting to reduce water consumption from 150 litres to 80 litres per person per day.
Rationel’s Aura Triple Glazed top guided timber windows contributed to the eco credentials of this development.
Steve Hornblow from developers A2Dominion says: “We chose Rationel for several reasons. We wanted to showcase the highest Code 5 in Sustainable Homes levels using existing products on the market. Windows have to have low u-values, with no compromise to real sustainability. We also wanted our sustainable products in the build to look ‘normal’, and not to look in any way out of the ordinary.”
“Rationel’s products have slim attractive timber profiles, and a very modern Scandinavian design- which are in keeping with our vision. We also have a commitment to using local labour and local companies, and Rationel’s UK office is very close by in Bicester. We are achieving ground breaking standards in sustainability in this development which we are hugely proud of.”
Tom Larkin, senior contract surveyor from Hill, the contractor on Phase 2 of this development says his choice of window manufacturer Rationel comes from past experience of very good customer service, a competitive tender price and a sustainable product which has sustainable raw materials from FSC approved forests.
He says: “we chose Rationel because they are a very helpful team, and are knowledgeable about what we need to achieve our client’s specification. As a team they are very user friendly and we have a great working relationship with the team in Bicester.”
Rationel’s energy efficient timber windows contribute to the sustainability credentials of this unique development, along with their timber frame design, air tight doors, energy efficient cavity and roof insulation, wiring for electric car charging points (which A2Dominion install free of charge in the first two years of moving in), A++ rated kitchen appliances, real-time home information system displaying energy consumption, generation and live bespoke Elmsbrook bus timetable and energy efficient ventilation.
Elmsbrook, NW Bicester was crowned winner at the Housebuilder Awards 2016 for Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative and took the bronze special commendation award in the Best Eco Living category for the Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2016. Other wins include scooping the award for Sustainability in the 2016 Constructing Excellence Awards, recognising Elmsbrook as a ground-breaking example in establishing sustainable new communities in the UK.