The newest housing community in Nottingham is leading the way in design, energy and sustainability. Nick Ebbs, Chief Executive at Blueprint, explains why Trent Basin is earning a name for its ground-breaking, energy-saving technology
Located just 15 minutes from Nottingham city centre, the £100m Trent Basin development is a central part of Nottingham City Council’s (NCC) aspiration for the wider Waterside Regeneration project along the north bank of the River Trent. Built around a former industrial inland dock, Blueprint is positioning the area as a catalyst for change, encouraging sustainable recreational use of the waterside while enhancing the excellent business and housing opportunities that are also available in the area.
As award-winning regeneration specialists, we were keen to work closely with the planners at Nottingham City Council to help spearhead their waterside vision and ensure that Trent Basin became a new community neighbourhood, with residents enjoying shared green spaces, a community hub and communal technology that reflects the exciting regeneration and environmental goals of the council and waterside area.
Building on our own extensive experience of designing sustainable, low-energy high-quality homes and our ethos of promoting health, wellbeing and regeneration, Trent Basin was founded upon green principles, promoting low energy and sustainable living throughout the development. Residents can also find pleasure in green, communal areas and enjoy the outdoors in a setting of calm blue water, fresh air and sky views.
The first phase of our pioneering community scheme saw 45 homes completed last year and now nearly every home has been sold to first-time buyers, families and downsizers – who were all keen to invest and become part of the exciting waterside living at Trent Basin.
Meeting the 2016 Fabric Energy Efficiency Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring each of the sustainable properties minimises energy use with airtight building structures, state-of-the-art insulation systems and high energy performance levels – something that will be central to the other four phases as well.
By using a Fabric First approach, the homes maximise the performance of building components and materials before considering the use of other energy facilities. As a result, our residents use less energy and save money.
At Trent Basin, we continue to develop new approaches to energy use and endeavour to be at the forefront of pioneering sustainable technologies and environmental green living. This includes introducing Europe’s largest community energy battery at Trent Basin at 2MWH. Together with a consortium of partners and supported by Innovate UK, Trent Basin will be at the heart of one of the UK’s first community energy networks and is a national pilot.
With input from a large consortium, headed up by the University of Nottingham and including Siemens, AT Kearney, SmartKlub and others, our vision includes installing solar photovoltaic panels across the entire development, which will feed into the largest community energy battery in Europe.
The pilot aims to demonstrate how to lower the cost of green energy and reduce carbon emissions while allowing residents to better engage with the energy they consume. If successful, this pioneering project could create a precedent for community-level energy in residential-led development UK-wide.
Smart transport systems are also being explored to promote environmental benefits at Trent Basin. We are looking to encourage battery-powered vehicles, including battery-powered bikes powered by the community energy network.
Residents will also be invited to join a car share scheme in partnership with Enterprise Cars, while an Eco-Expressway, just 10 minutes from Trent Basin, now provides low-emission local transport and an electric bus straight into the city centre – all of which actively encourages responsible car use and helps reduce our carbon footprint by using alternative forms of transport.
New technology, like the Community Energy initiative at Trent Basin, is adapting to a positive future and placing Nottingham and its thriving renewable energy ethos at the forefront for change and growth.
Trent Basin will see 500 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes plus some apartments built when all five phases are completed. Work on site for Phase Two of Trent Basin is to start early 2018. For more information about Trent Basin, please visit www.trentbasin.co.uk.