Kings Farm Close, Longcot, Oxfordshire

Fifteen new homes in an Oxfordshire village are ultra-low carbon and highly sustainable, using the One Planet Living framework.

The Kings Farm Close development at Longcot in Oxfordshire comprises 15 new homes. These new homes will have near zero carbon footprints, thanks to their use of an innovative construction system called Biond, which uses timber, wood fibre and hemp in the manufacturing process. Emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide gas caused by their construction are about 90% lower than for a conventional brick-built new home.

In addition, due to their excellent thermal performance, future emissions of carbon dioxide will also be much lower than normal houses as heating requirements will be very low.

Developer Oxford Advanced Living also aims to enhance the variety of animal and wildflower species on the land in and around the development which had previously been used for pasture. A fifth of the site’s total area will be shared green space, planted and managed with native trees to support wildlife under a biodiversity plan.

At Kings Farm Close six of the 15 homes – 40% – are designated as affordable, in one of the most expensive regions of Britain. Four of the homes will be let to tenants at below market rents by Sovereign Housing Association and two are for shared home ownership, helping people get on the first rung of the property ladder. The other nine homes are for sale on the open market.

The developer and the builder, Greencore Construction, drew up a One Planet Action Plan covering all aspects of sustainability – social, economic and environmental, based on the ten One Planet Living principles.

In 2018, Bioregional awarded the development’s One Planet Action Plan ‘national leadership’ status in implementing One Planet Living.

Highlights include:

  • Using timber panels for the walls containing a thick insulation layer made from Yorkshire-grown hemp-lime. Using these panels for construction radically reduces emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide compared to conventional brick and concrete block walls – these panels lock up carbon within the homes.
  • The panels are manufactured offsite in Greencore’s own factory in Worminghall near Oxford, benefitting the local economy.
  • The high levels of insulation cut the demand for heating, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Using natural materials, combined with a ventilation system which recovers heat, helps to improve indoor air quality while cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions still further.
  • A management company will be created to look after the shared parts of the development including the green spaces after the homes are completed. This company will be run by the residents and they will be encouraged to continue implementing the One Planet Action Plan, and to regularly review their progress.