Words by Hannah Tapping
Creating a built environment that puts community and sustainability at the fore.
The construction industry has been much maligned over recent years for its lack of eco-credentials, but there is one Cornish company that, in the face of climate change, is championing the need to build with sustainability in mind and is taking steps to increase energy efficiency in its homes without compromising on aesthetics. Legacy Homes has put sustainability high on its agenda and is adopting a top-down approach when it comes to its new developments. I speak to Neil Simpkin, Head of Sales and Marketing, about what steps are being taken to minimise environmental impact with their new collection of three, four and five-bedroom contemporary homes near Crantock, Pentire Green. “The village itself is in an outstanding location with far-reaching countryside views and just a stone’s throw from the famous Crantock beach,” Neil explains. “Inspired by Cornwall’s north coast and its surrounding verdant countryside, we wanted to blend Legacy Homes’ trademark design-led architecture with contemporary living spaces to create a community of modern homes which complement the Cornish landscape. “We are committed to constantly evolving our homes to be the most energy efficient they can be through continually introducing the most sustainable and efficient energy sources. Our homes at Pentire Green will be our most sustainable and energy efficient yet due to our passion for seeking out energy and sustainability innovation without compromising on quality.” All 15 open market homes at Pentire Green will have discrete integrated powerful PV solar panels in their roofs. These can be combined with optional home storage battery systems that will dramatically reduce dependence on traditional energy consumption, delivering significant long-term cost-of-living savings.
While the PV panels will harness the heat of the Cornish sunshine, each home will be fitted with an air source heat pump. These work by absorbing the ambient heat from the outside air into a liquid refrigerant at a low temperature. Using electricity, the pump compresses the liquid to increase its temperature, which condenses back into a liquid to release its stored heat. The pumps will be used to warm the heating systems – which will include underfloor heating to the ground floor as it distributes warm air faster than traditional radiators and can also reduce energy consumption and your bills by 30%. In fact, did you know that air source heat pumps are deemed to be over 50% more efficient than a traditional gas boiler?
There’s no doubt that eco-heating sources work well and are the fuel of the future, but they are at their most efficient when combined with other build elements. With that in mind, each window in a Legacy home is made incorporating recycled PVC and an advanced multi-chambered design which locks in heat ensuring environmental, market-leading performance, without aesthetic compromise, and delivering triple A-rated performance. A Legacy home’s energy efficiency also comes from its highly insulated walls and roofing, along with innovative flooring insulation blocks made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) rather than more traditional concrete. These blocks are 98% air, non-toxic and 100% recyclable, and due to its lightweight closed cell structure, which inhibits the passage of heat or cold, EPS has a high capacity for thermal insulation, producing an A+ insulation rating. In a bid to also reduce water usage by up to 50%, the homes have aerated taps, showers and dual flush cisterns. The list of eco credentials is topped off by pre-wiring to accommodate an external EV charging point.
Legacy Homes has been creating beautiful, luxurious modern living spaces in the UK’s most sought-after locations for more than 15 years. As a premium house builder, with an impressive portfolio of award-winning developments, the team work tirelessly to achieve the highest quality architecture and craftsmanship, as Neil explains: “To ensure our rigorous standards are maintained, we have an in-house Legacy Design Practice that oversees every element of our designs. Our spatial and interior designers maximise indoor and outdoor living space to create homes which are aesthetically beautiful and practical for everyday life.
“We also have a long-standing partnership with ground-breaking Cornish business Green&Blue who produce innovative, aesthetically beautiful products that help us all to make the changes necessary to protect our environment for future generations. Their products include Bee Bricks, Bat and Swift Boxes and Modern Bird Baths, all of which are made from recycled Cornish clay and delivered to site in recycled packaging.” Sharing in Green&Blue’s vision that every new house built needs to provide a home for wildlife as well as for us, and with so many species in decline, Legacy Homes are determined to rethink the way they plan, build and manage both housing and gardens. Every new Legacy home includes at least one Green&Blue home for wildlife and many of the developments include wildlife hotels and bird baths.
The site at Pentire Green will be fully landscaped so that it sits comfortably within the local vernacular and is also reflective of its coastal position, backed by Cornish countryside. The development will sit on the western fringes of Crantock village with Crantock beach, the Gannel Estuary and coastal walks almost on the doorstep. There is a vibrant village community here with St Carantoc Chrurch and a village green at its heart. The Old Albion Inn nestles amongst the ancient streets, looking after the victuals of its residents for some 400 years, while independent shops and cafés makes this a place you can truly call home. Legacy also aims to create communities to be proud of. As part of this, and its commitment to the village, Legacy is building 15 affordable homes at Pentire Green, exclusively available to local families, as well as building an extension to the local village hall. The development will very much be an integral part of the village.
Neil sums up: “We believe that our responsibility when building quality new homes includes thinking about the finer details in all aspects of a home. We are on a journey to continually improve our approach to the environment and communities.”