£60m eco-housing scheme gets go-ahead

Virido concept house

Cambridge planners have given the go-ahead to a £60m eco-housing scheme in the city. The Virido scheme in Great Kneighton is being developed by a joint venture of the city council and housebuilder Hill and will comprise 208 zero carbon homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses.

Half of the homes will be affordable and will be managed by the council, with the other half being for market sale by Hill. The homes, which are designed by architect Pollard Thomas Edwards will incorporate such green features as:

  • Passive eco-design, including thermal mass and solar shading
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  • Sustainably sourced and high performance building materials and products, including triple-glazed windows
  • Water-efficient appliances and rainwater harvesting
  • Green roofs.

A prototype pair of semi-detached eco houses – pictured above – has already been built to demonstrate the principles of the design. One of the houses has been monitored to test the impact of the design on the health and wellbeing of the occupants. Learning from the prototyping and monitoring will inform the design, specification and construction of the full 208-home scheme.

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