Its aim is to create a model for the future of housing developments – a community of people living happy, healthy, sustainable lives in zero-carbon homes with space for nature.

Funding from Triodos enabled the creation of the 25 zero-carbon homes in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, which were all built using a zero-carbon construction method. 

The homes

The houses are built to Passivhaus energy standards, the gold standard in energy efficiency. Springfield’s building contactor Greencore Construction has its own ‘off-site’ building system designed to deliver a better-than-zero carbon footprint. The system is called Biond and uses hemp-lime panels and natural wood fibre insulation. This method is combined with other sustainable development principles – including Bioregional’s One Planet Living Certification – to produce houses that sequester more carbon than they emit and generate more energy than they use. 

Created with the needs of the community in mind, the development also has an electric car club and worked with the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) to design an orchard and wildlife pond. BBOWT will monitor the wildlife and biodiversity of the projects, reporting back to the residents, who were all given complimentary membership to the trust when they moved into their new house. Residents also benefit from shared outdoor space and private gardens. 

“We’re incredibly proud to build what we believe are the most sustainable homes in the country,” comments James Pritchett, communications manager at Greencore Construction. “We know that there’s a real desire in the local Oxfordshire community for zero-carbon housing, and Springfield Meadows is an exemplary example of building beautiful homes with sustainability at their core.  

The project is already the winner of 11 awards – including the OxProp Best Residential Housing Development 2021 and Property Development of the Year at the 2021 Property Investor Awards – and has been shortlisted for a further five.

Paul Nicoll, regional team manager at Triodos Bank UK, added: “If we’re to reach the UK’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we urgently need our new homes to be of the highest energy efficiency and sustainability standards. By supporting projects such as Springfield Meadows, we’re helping to provide people with high-quality, community-focussed homes, while also working to decarbonise the housing sector. This is a key focus for Triodos as we make progress towards being a net-zero bank by 2035.”