Conservation Builders Limited are constantly striving to find ways of building that are kinder to the environment. As well as using locally sourced stone, below are the elements that are currently in practice with ongoing research to make further changes.
All newer phases of the development at Lower Mill Estate and all properties at Silverlake are built using SIPS – this provides extremely high thermal performance with U values as low as 0.15W/msq K.
Construction with SIPs is draught free and has minimal cold bridging. This keeps properties warm in the Summer and cool in the Winter coupled together with energy costs reduced by up to 60%.
SIPs use less timber than timber frame and are one of the most economical and eco-friendly forms of construction.
SIPs has minimal thermal bridging and delivers excellent air tightness, which lends itself ideally to Passive and Low Energy building standards.
SIPs can be recycled at the end of the building lifecycle.
The OSB (Orientated Strand Board) that is utilised for the panels is from sustainable harvested spruce. Up to 35% reduction in the amount of timber utilised in a SIPS building compared to timber frame houses.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is used and is 15 times better than concrete as an insulator, and 400 times better than steel. A 25mm OSB board has better insulation values than a 114mm brick wall.
Polyurethane foam (PU) forms the inner core and insulation for the panels, which is CFC and HCFC free and has an ozone depletion of zero.
Green roofs are installed on nine Habitat Houses at Lower Mill, five of which are wildflower and four are based on a sedum mix. We have also installed green roofs (sedum) to 8 recent boat stores. The additional green roof covering not only provides a living habitat for wildlife but acts as an additional thermal layer to the houses.
At Silverlake, eleven boat stores have sedum roofs and the Spa building also has areas of sedum roofing.
Each new property will be fitted with a bat box, bee brick & swift box to encourage new habitats.
An MVHR system is used within the houses in the newer phases of the development which helps to reduce overall energy consumption. Approximately 30% of the heating energy can be saved in airtight buildings with highly efficient MVHR systems compared to naturally (uncontrolled) ventilated buildings.
To date 60 properties have an ASHP, which have lower home carbon emissions than that of natural gas. One property has a ground source heat pump. Five properties have photo voltaic panels, as does one swimming pool.
Native trees have been planted throughout the development offering shading to people and buildings and helping to improve air quality. Each property is close to a waterbody, be it a pond, ditch, lake or river/stream offering natural cooling from the water. Trees are monitored and managed as part of the Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) for the entire Estate to ensure their survival.
13. Lighting - Exterior lighting along roads and paths is provided by low intensity, directional low-level bollards to minimise disturbance to wildlife (Collingwood LED wooden bollard with 5W output) and reduce energy usage.
Green roofs, permeable materials and soft landscaping provide interception of the first 5mm of rainfall depth on all sites. At Lower Mill Estate, Spinney Lake at the north of the Estate forms part of an Environment Agency (EA) flood alleviation scheme in the area that protects Somerford Keynes upstream, Mill Village (downstream on the Estate), and Ashton Keynes further downstream by diverting flood flows from the River Thames into the Estate lakes system and then into the Swill Brook to the South of the site. This reduces water levels downstream of Somerford Keynes and diverts flows away from Mill Village and Ashton Keynes.
Surface water runoff drains into the water system either directly into the lakes or into the ditches and ponds on site that are all connected to the lakes system. Runoff calculations have shown a negligible effect on downstream hydraulics as the peak run off during a 1 in 100 year plus climate change event is very small and will be attenuated within the series of lakes downstream.
Bodpave (gravel-filled cellular paving) is used for driveways and parking areas in large parts of the development and has a high void sub-base to create local attenuation storage. Ponds, ditches and lakes, with reedbeds in many of them, help retain water and minimise surface water runoff.
Highway runoff flows through gullies and infiltration trenches adjacent to the highway.
Trapped gullies at downpipes, and piped drainage is used to funnel discharge from the roofs of the properties into the lakes water management system.
The creation of new vegetated lakes, ponds, ditches (swales) not only maximises the SuDs capacity of the development but provides significant additional habitat for a wide range of species including European Protected Species (EPS) such as Otter and Schedule 1 species such as Kingfisher.
Foul drainage - the treatment system consists of an advance N-SAF unit designed by Pollution Control Limited to treat the wastewater from 100 chalets. This treated water is then passed through a wetland treatment system which has been modified to allow additional treatment of N and P loads in order to meet the tougher treatment standards in order to protect Poole Harbour SSSI/SAC. The development is designed to discharge less nutrients into the environment than the former agricultural landscape, thus reducing the overall pressure on Poole Harbour SSSI/SAC. The treatment system will be replicated over the site and comprehensive monitoring of the performance undertaken to ensure that it works at the agreed standards.
Hydrology - the hydrological scheme at Silverlake has been approved by Natural England and the Environment Agency. The scheme has been designed to keep water on site to prevent any nutrification of the Poole Harbour SPA from the development. In extreme events the system allows for discharge from the Southern Lakes into the Tadnoll Brook at a controlled rate.
Native tree and shrub species are used to provide shade to buildings and to protect buildings from adverse weather conditions. Wood chips generated from habitat management works are used to mulch soils in the development providing a protective layer to soils to mitigate water loss, as well as providing a moderate soil conditioner and minimising run off. Spoil generated on site is used for landscaping/landform within the development rather than being exported off site.
The majority of products used during construction can be recycled at the end of their lifecycle to include:
Modular buildings are kind to the environment – they are built with eco-friendly building materials and are leading the market with the use of recycled materials. The off-site construction process ensures less waste, too. One of the benefits of modular construction is that you can be sure that you are investing in a sustainable construction process from start to finish.