For World Green Building Week, we're shining a light on inspiring sustainable developments around the globe, including Springfield Meadows - a thriving, green community in the heart of Oxfordshire
Springfield Meadows, developed by Ssassy Property, is a custom-build housing development on the outskirts of Oxfordshire village Southmoor.
It has used One Planet Living throughout its design and planning processes and has done so in its construction phase too. This ambitious development has had its One Planet Action Plan endorsed as a Global Leader in One Planet Living by Bioregional.
The development proposal offers 16 plots for custom-build options of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bed homes. There are 9 affordable homes, which are designed and delivered to the same high standards.
Creating warm, healthy homes in a thriving, green community
Springfield Meadows is designed to help residents lead happier and healthier lives with a very small carbon footprint, engaging with nature and creating a strong sense of community.
The homes, built using local labour, are highly energy-efficient, use natural materials and good ventilation. The use of an innovative construction system using natural materials like hemp creates an approximately 90% reduction in carbon emissions due to construction compared to a standard home in the UK of a similar size.
All homes are designed to be zero carbon in operation, with solar panels and a connection to green power for any surplus demand. Residents can connect with nature, as they benefit from large gardens offering the opportunity for growing their own food, a central green space to enjoy as a community, a wildlife pond, a community orchard, and a herb garden.
A model for sustainable rural development
As a rural development that’s also responding to housing need in the area, the scheme is required by planning rules to be relatively low-density. This has enabled the creation of a place full of nature and space, with a wildlife pond, community orchard and herb garden. To incentivise sustainable modes of travel, excellent bus connections are enhanced by free bus vouchers for residents in their first year of residence.
There is also a car club with electric vehicles, promoted by Ssassy Property, helping to cultivate a sustainable sharing culture and strengthening community bonds by providing opportunities for residents to meet and chat.
Ssassy Property wants to create a sense of community, as well as encourage residents to live more sustainable lives. It will establish a management company and incorporate the One Planet Action Plan into its initial remit. The company will then be handed over to residents, giving them a sense of ownership of their community.
Ssassy has really demonstrated the scale of ambition and the sheer determination necessary to achieve a net-zero carbon UK by 2030. But more importantly, they have proved to all other developers and housebuilders that true zero-carbon development can be done.Nicole Lazarus, Head of Cities & Regions
About the developer
Ssassy Property delivers highly sustainable and beautifully designed projects in its home patch of Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. Its philosophy is to ensure its schemes are beneficial to local communities and the environment.
Equity and local economy
35% tenure-blind affordable housing
Travel and transport
The rural site has excellent bus connections and access to a car club with electric vehicles. Free bus vouchers are provided in the first year.
Materials and products
Innovative construction system using natural materials like hemp to deliver an approximately 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during construction compared to a standard home in the UK. This saves in the region of 250 tonnes of emissions across the site – the equivalent of taking 50 cars off the road for a year.
Zero carbon energy
All buildings are net-zero carbon across the year, using onsite photovoltaics and connection to green power for surplus demand