Europe and UK’s first plastic-free affordable homes built

Work on the first affordable plastic-free homes in Europe and the UK will soon be completed in a move to encourage developers to rely more on sustainable materials.

The ground-breaking project, built by housing association GreenSquareAccord, has seen plastic-free alternatives used to reduce the environmental impact of the homes.

Based on the site of a former factory carpark in the West Midlands, the one-bedroom apartments have been constructed with timber panels and aluminium window frames.

Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Business at GreenSquareAccord said: ‘We have reimagined what it takes to build a home by removing virtually all the plastic elements from the building and replacing them with non-plastic materials.

‘Although challenging, this project demonstrates what is possible and sets a new threshold in the sector for sustainable building. Our aim is for this project to influence others to embrace our approach and remove the plastic elements from their builds, helping to create a more sustainable building sector.’

Each apartment has wooden kitchen units, mineral based insulation over the usual plastic and thermal heating systems to lower energy costs and prevent fuel poverty.

The project has been completed in collaboration with Redditch Borough Council and the CHARM (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) partnership, with representatives from the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The €1.6m project received €967,000 funding from the Interreg North West Europe partnership, allowing GreenSquareAccord to research plastic-free alternatives through a large scale project.

David Trevitt, who is soon due to move into one of the new homes, said: ‘I can’t wait to move in and have my own space – the peace and independence this will bring will make a massive difference to my life.

‘As I have disabilities, this place is perfectly suited to me as it is on the ground floor and is close to town and the shops. I can appreciate that the apartment is plastic free and I’m looking forward to the benefits of lower fuel bills.’

Photo by GreenSquareAccord 


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