How to develop a Net Zero Carbon Positive & Water Neutral greenfield site in Buckinghamshire

Updated: Jul 26


Developing on a greenfield site is often a big challenge. On this site, the proposal is to develop a blueprint Net Zero Carbon Positive and Water Neutral development providing both affordable and market homes. The challenge is to use strong sustainability drivers to facilitate the granting of planning permission in order to facilitate development.


The site is a greenfield site edge of settlement location, in a high water stressed area. This location has a high affordable and market homes demand, and the proposed development will facilitate 50% off grid energy generation and pursue a water neutral strategy that facilities the recycling of 85% of the greywater (water from baths, taps, showers). The greywater will be treated to Work Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water standards and will be used for the washing machine, toilet flushing, landscaping and car washing.


The following article is an interview we had recently with Otilia Mitrofan of Mitro Homes on her experience with her site!


Tapiwa - “Please tell us more about your site?”


Otiliia - “So, what we want to do here with this site is to deliver a couple of sustainable construction units 50% off grid, I’d love to say 50% of it because it’s 70% off the grid. This is so sustainable that everybody will love it. What we have here is a perfect sustainable construction system that we built in Dover, Kent which has achieved an A energy performance rating.”


Otilia - “We have ground source pumps that we want to use for the heating and for the hot water, photovoltaic panels that we want to use for the electric. We want to give to the people green energy with excess electricity produced by the site being sold to the grid. What we have here is the most amazing system for recycling water that enhances our five-star sustainable construction.”


Tapiwa - “Fantastic so what I understand that you're going to deliver as a fully sustainable development that will facilitate the supply of excess electricity, so no energy bills whatsoever.”


Otilia - “Yes”


Tapiwa - “That’s a big issue at the moment because the energy bills are escalating, and the only way is up for energy bills so this will also affect affordable homes as well people get into affordable homes but then with escalating energy prices the house might not be affordable after all so your product is actually going to make affordable homes affordable for the lifetime of the homes?”


Otilia - “So just imagine for the two exemplar Mitro Homes installed in Dover, that have no gas we paid £7 per month for the electricity in the summer time and in the winter time we paid £18. We have the proof that we only paid £18 per month for the electricity for the two bed semi-detached homes. But the most amazing thing here is that we have enough space to create not only sustainable homes but with modern construction and innovation, modern is the future, modern is the freedom of open space where all the family can see each other can gather together.”


Otilia - “My son asked me about 10 years ago mom why don't we have enough space to sit at the table together, why we don’t we eat together? So now I want to take the dream of my son and put it into practice in these houses and deliver the perfect sustainable construction for the future.”


Tapiwa - “Well, this is quite exciting because you're saying for the cost of two Starbucks you are able to supply energy to a property during the summer and for the cost of four Starbucks you are able to supply energy during the winter.”


Otilia - “I love that”


Tapiwa - “This is this is quite exciting, and yes the other great thing is that this house is actually going to be built to water neutrality principles. Which means that they will use the minimum amount of portable water and recycle the grey water from the washing machine and bathroom and you're going to be able to use that for total flashing for the landscaping and also for general car washing. This is fantastic! Which means that you’ve got very low energy bills and you’ve got very low water bills thus delivering a much needed sustainable durable house on this site. I understand that you're working with housing associations as a prototype to demonstrate to them, what a truly sustainable house would look like and that people can actually afford to live in a truly affordable sense. So what is your vision about working with housing associations.”


Otilia - “So the vision is we have is to create now the most amazing project where to pack up all the sustainability that we speak about. We have a lot of councils that right now pursuing sustainable construction following guidance from the government. Planners are being trained right now to move into this sustainable construction and in the future Net Zero homes are the future. Councils will not be able to approve any traditional construction if they don't have at least a C for the EPC performance. That means a lot of more money into the pocket of new residents, so when you deliver Mitro Homes sustainable homes when you do not lose the energy through the walls or through the windows when you feel that the air, the fresh air from the outside it is exactly what you have inside. But our homes are truly affordable as they cost similar prices to those installed using traditional forms of construction, on this project we are delivering the future of affordable sustainable Net Zero homes.”


Tapiwa - “Fantastic it's been great hearing from you and we will be working together on this project. We look forward to delivering a great sustainable development that is going to be a blueprint in Buckinghamshire. The first water neutral and net zero carbon plus development that is coming to this site. Where it is going to house affordable units and market units and demonstrate how and what sustainable living will be like in the future. Thank you very much, thank you.”


We hope you enjoyed this read and can see the future of what developments will look like. If you want to give your developments an edge, with water neutrality contact us. If this is something of interest, make sure to speak to the team!


For more information take a look at some of our links.


Relevant Links: Mitro Homes


tapiwa@wateroffsets.co.uk T: 01992 946 799

Water Neutrality

Greywater Recycling

theWaterBank

Stodmarsh Moratorium

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