Minister Cuts Sod At Official Launch Of Salters Grange Manor Development Armagh

November  2013

The Environment Minister, Mark Durkan, has joined award winning construction company Green Future NI Ltd to officially launch Ireland / Northern Ireland's first zero carbon housing development.

The private development, Salter's Grange Manor, just one mile outside Armagh city centre, will be built to a zero carbon standard offering people a smarter way of living at an affordable cost.

The homes will be built to a high specification and will consist of green technologies which will empower home owners to be in control of their energy costs as opposed to facing the challenges of rising energy bills which typically leaves many families in fuel poverty.


Latest figures from the House Condition Survey carried out by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) reveals that  42 per cent of households in Northern Ireland are living in fuel poverty. This means 294,240 households are paying 10 per cent or more of their income on energy costs annually. Between 2009 and 2012, the average annual price of home heating oil increased by 62 per cent.

Clifford Glean, technical director of Salters Grange Manor, said: "We all recognise the financial challenges we face when it comes to paying for our heat and our electricity. But for people living in zero carbon homes, rising energy prices is something which will not cause you concern.

"It's a pleasure to have such cross party support from our politicians, North and South, who recognise the benefits of zero carbon construction.  This development is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Last year we officially opened our zero carbon showhouse in Middletown. Today we are launching the next phase of Green Future NI construction.

"The development of Salters Grange Manor will not only provide affordable homes but it will also create jobs through construction, supply chains and will encourage growth in this sector for companies already operating in the renewable energy field."

The development, which consists of 18 spacious family homes, will feature renewable technologies such as solar panels, wood pellet boilers and air source heat pumps with the external walls being built with an insulated concrete block structure.


Speaking at the launch, Minister Durkan said: "I recently visited the Green Future NI showhouse in Middletown. It is fantastic to see how green technology can operate in a way which keeps a family home well insulated and supplied with electricity while also providing the potential to earn money.


"The benefit of these technologies are becoming more widely recognised and they are now being used in developments across the rest of the UK, Ireland and Europe.  I therefore very much welcome this type of sustainable construction in the form of a private housing development in Northern Ireland. 
"I have been told that the largest of the properties, a spacious 1,701 sq ft four bedroom family home, will cost approximately £300 per year to heat and light, a significant saving when compared to the energy costs for older houses."


FACTBOX:

What are zero carbon homes?
- They are homes designed for ordinary people
- They are designed and built to the Government's new definition of zero carbon
- The government's definition of a zero-carbon home is one where there are zero net emissions from all energy used over one year. This means that energy needed for heating, lighting, hot water and all electrical appliances in the house, such as TVs and computers, must be obtained from renewable sources. 
- The construction of zero carbon homes takes into account the surrounding environment which maximises daylight and encourages a sustainable lifestyle
- They use green technology solutions namely wood pellet boilers, air source heat pumps and solar panels as opposed reliance on oil and gas
- They can be open planned to take full advantage of daylight and natural ventilation which minimises energy consumption
- Homes are currently under construction in the North and South of Ireland and across the UK and Europe
- They are the future of house building


What are the benefits of zero carbon homes?

- Green Future NI zero carbon homes can cost as little as £200 per year to heat and light
- Homeowners can earn money through the Government Renewable Obligation Certificate Scheme
- Homeowners are not at the hands of volatile energy markets 
- You can control the temperature in your home to suit your needs
- The homes are constructed in such a way to use daylight and fresh air providing climate neutral, comfortable and attractive places to live 
- The high performing homes promote minimising energy consumption and can help eradicate fuel poverty 

-They are economically sound and considered a best value proposition