Cardiff Council takes a seat at the forefront of Net Zero carbon housing delivery
Cardiff Council has joined Woodknowledge Wales as part of its drive to decarbonise its homes. We are very pleased to welcome our first Local Authority (LA) member, Cardiff Council, to Woodknowledge Wales.
“It’s great to have Cardiff Council join us. As an organisation committed to collaboration, we need to drive positive change in our natural and built environments to support rapid decarbonisation. Many Councils want to drive down the carbon they emit in their social housing development and retrofit projects, and we can help them through our network of members, partners and collaborators,” said Gary Newman, CEO, Woodknowledge Wales
Cardiff Council is delivering an exciting and ambitious housing development programme which will provide more than 4,000 new homes of the highest quality in a wide range of locations across the city. At least 2,800 of these will be new council homes and 1,200 homes for sale.
Collaboration in housing development
It was Teresa Barnes, Cardiff Council’s Operational Manager that realised it would benefit Cardiff Council to collaborate with the experts at Woodknowledge Wales.
“I started working with Woodknowledge Wales as part of my role as Development Manager at United Welsh Housing Association in September 2021,” said Barnes. “WkW was supporting United Welsh on the Ty Du project where they were trying to standardise a Timber Frame design that considered embodied carbon as well as operational carbon measures. United Welsh are members of the social housing developers communities of practice (CoP) and I worked closely with David Hedges and Dr Diana Waldron on this project and wider work to look at Building Performance Evaluation. I also attended most of the online WoodBUILD series in 2022 and attended WoodBUILD 2023 in Lampeter.”
Teresa is now responsible for projects such as the Channel View Estate regeneration programme on behalf of Cardiff Council.
Regeneration programmes and new-build delivery routes
The Channel View Estate regeneration programme is the council’s largest and most holistic estate redevelopment proposal so far in housing development. The project will replace 180 existing properties on Channel View Road. These include a 13-storey tower block, with around 400 new mixed tenure homes for the existing community.
The programme will deliver new homes of different sizes and design, but all built to meet key quality requirements, regardless of tenure, and will meet a wide range of identified housing needs. The project will be delivered across various phases and will be part of a number of new-build delivery routes that have been implemented. These include the Cardiff Living Programme, the development of the former Gasworks site in Grangetown, the Channel View regeneration scheme, an additional build programme, the purchase of property from the market and developer-led package deals, as well as meanwhile use modular units for temporary accommodation.
Low carbon homes at scale and pace
“A key aspiration is to build new low carbon homes at scale and pace that directly complements the Welsh Government’s house building and enhanced quality targets,” explains Teresa. “This includes exploring low embodied carbon whole life principles and using and supporting local supply chains and manufacturers. We are currently designing our first certified net-zero carbon housing project on our St Teilo’s site.”
“Working with WkW allows us at Cardiff Council to ensure we are engaged in all the latest discussions and policy about Welsh supply chains for Timber frame and MMC, as well as the wider decarb agenda. We have a considerable pipeline which could support these local supply chains,” said Teresa.
“WKW is at the forefront of discussions about how to deliver lower embodied carbon schemes, which is the next step for us. We are looking to pilot a scheme using the (Low Energy Transformation Initiative) LETI standards on St Teilo’s, and WkW are supporting the architects, Pentan, on this project,” continued Teresa. “WkW is also able to support better use of Building Performance Evaluation and data analysis which the Council are keen to explore. The sharing of best practice and lessons learnt has always been a useful part of being a member of WkW and Cardiff Council would like to be involved in this. The network of WkW members will allow the Council to make better links across the Welsh supply chain, as well as keeping up to date on new policy and innovation.”
Woodknowledge Wales member base continues to expand
Our mission is to drive the purposeful development of Wales’s Forest industries from tree to product to benefit the economy, the environment, and the people of Wales. We believe that all organisations linked to the timber supply chain should have a voice in policy development and change. Woodknowledge Wales is, therefore, focused on broadening its member base throughout 2024 and beyond.
“Cardiff Council has decided to join a growing and trusted group of like-minded organisations. The only way we are going to reduce construction’s share of our collective carbon emissions is by making positive decisions to improve what and how we build and how we improve our homes, reducing the energy used and carbon emitted in both making and using them. Cardiff Council is one of Wales’ biggest social housing developers and will be taking a lead in creating the learning which will feed into our growing knowledge and experience as well as influence the development and implementation of policy,” said David Hedges, Head of Housing, Woodknowledge Wales.
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