Eastbourne’s first eco homes project

Published:  12 August, 2011

EASTBOURNE: The first home of the pioneering Eco Home development in Eastbourne, has recently been unveiled and is currently being used a show home.

In a unique expression of the relationship between builder and supplier, Chandlers Mews takes its name from the integral contribution made by Ringmer builders merchant, Chandlers Building Supplies. The project, which consists of five brand new homes, one detached and two pairs of semi’s.

Chandlers provided 90% of the resources used in the development, from foundation materials to bricks and paving slabs, along with all the essentials, including sand and cement throughout the entire construction. Chandlers specialist bathroom branch in Lewes also provided all the bathroom materials.

Liam Russell Architects was behind the design of the project whilst the development was constructed by PR Homes Direct.

The primary objective of the project was to produce a development consisiting of affordable and sustainable homes and this became the ethos of all those involved from the architects to the suppliers to the builders.

The development site was previoulsy a set of 14 derelict garages, considered a nuisance and an eyesore by neighbouring home owners and the local council. Due to the nature and size of the site, the redevelopment was going to be complex and as such required a bespoke solution.

Chandlers was keen to lead the way in the eco home movement, perceieving that sustainable homes were in short supply, yet essential to both the preservation and future of home construction.

The bespoke aspect of the project meant that all those involed faced a steep learning curve. In order to enable the construction of the Eco Homes, Chandlers had to create a brand new supplier network to enable the purchase of the required materials. To ensure that Chandlers was able to provide the best solution, they carried out extensive research into eco materials plus developed new relationships to create the best possible outcome.

One of the key aspects of the Eco Homes is that the houses have curved roofs which are covered in an organic green material called Sedum. This gives the impression of a grass roof and the neighboring houses seem to have an outlook over green hills rather than normal red tiles.

One of the many advantages of sedum is the water retention. Any excess water which discharges can be harvested in water butts and used to water gardens, wash cars and so on. Sedum has very high insulation qualities as well as its beautiful green look, which changes colour and texture with the seasons.

There are also two solar panels on each house which serve to assist in the heating of the hot water used in the houses, thus reducing the gas and electricity bills.

Overall, Chandlers was able to provide the ideal eco solution enabling PR Homes to bring the designs of Liam Russell Architects to life in a sustainable yet beautiful synergy of modern home construction. The project illsutrates how innovation is becoming the foundation for sustainability.

Richard Skinner, Chandlers commercial director, commented: “We have been pleased to work closely with PR Homes on their Eastbourne project. Sustainable eco homes are increasingly the future of construction – this project has been a learning process for us and we are committed to the use of sustainable building materials in future. We are proud that PR Homes has chosen to name the development after us.”

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