Zero Carbon Community Centre at Caddington Woods

22nd January 2020

Redrow’s South Midlands division have excelled in designing a new state-of-the-art community centre, which is classified as a Zero Carbon building.

The Community Centre, which will host a range of activities, recently opened at Redrow’s Caddington Woods development in Chaul End. The Centre was constructed using similar practices to the homes on the development and will utilise renewable energy sources.

Redrow’s Group Sustainability Manager Nicola Johansen explained: “The community centre is classified as a Zero Carbon building due to the large number of solar photo voltaic panels on the roof which offset any carbon the building creates.”

In order to achieve a Zero Carbon building, Carbon Dioxide emissions were initially reduced through improvements to the design and layout of the building and to the thermal performance of the building fabric. A specific focus was also put on specifying higher levels of insulation for the floors, external walls, roof, and higher performance windows and doors. Other important measures include the use of energy-efficient light fittings (with occupancy sensors) and mechanical ventilation with low fan power.

Following on from the application of energy efficiency controls to reduce baseline energy consumption - various renewable energy technologies were considered for their economic benefits, technical feasibility and ability to meet with the overall Zero Carbon target.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels were deemed the most feasible solution to meet the aspirations of Zero Carbon Dioxide emissions. Their installation is likely to offset just over 6.5 tonnes of CO2 per annum and generate 12.6 MWh of electricity; which could mean that more than 5% of the building’s energy demand and/or CO2 emissions would be offset using Solar PV’s.

The Community Centre was built on land which had little ecological value previously. Senior Project Co-ordinator, Scott Chamberlain, was part of the technical design team involved and added “It is amazing to see a tarmacked car park transform into a fully flourishing neighbourhood with areas for children to play and enjoy in safety.”

We are likely to see more Zero Carbon buildings like this in the future, as they do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and are considered sustainable. Furthermore, Zero Carbon buildings have been identified as a key way that the Government can tackle the Climate Emergency.