WELSH GOVERNMENT BACKS GREEN HOUSING

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The United Welsh Housing Association (UWHA) is set to develop modular Passivhaus homes that can be rolled out to the mass market.

The news comes after the association secured crucial Welsh government funding to support its plans.

Earlier this month, at the Built Environment Networking Conference in Cardiff, Richard Mann, group director of operations at UWHA, said that the group had secured cash from the government’s Innovative Housing Fund to build its scheme on the site of a former primary school in Caerphilly.

The scheme will involve the development of 19 homes using modular construction techniques in an attempt to demonstrate that low carbon building works for larger developments are attainable.

Richard Mann said: ‘’Whilst the UWHA doesn’t have the capacity to sustain a manufacturing facility, RSLs in Wales are good at working collaboratively, and we’ll have about five associations looking to work together on the factory’’.

Ricard went on to say that the scheme, in which housing will be so tightly insulated that it won’t require central heating to keep warm, is set to be complete in March.

Other speakers at the event included Cara Aitchison, president and vice-chancellor at Cardiff Metropolitan University, who told the conference about plans for a new central Cardiff campus.

Located at the former Brain’s brewery site, the plans are “well advanced” and the centrepiece, which occupies the waterfront location close to the mainline railway station, is an 8,000 sqm school of technology.

Aitchison said: “This is an emerging area where south east Wales can differentiate itself within the UK.

“It will increase opportunities in the digital economy which could help address the existing under-provision of graduate jobs in the region.”

She also confirmed that the school of education would be relocated to the site from its current Cyncoedm Campus base.

The new campus will include 650 new student accommodation units and a 5,000sq m Innovation Hub.

Mark Bailey, director of planning and development at Cardiff Airport, was also at the conference discussing the master plan to guide its development over the next 20 years after seeing visitor numbers plateau.

The plan would examine the development of a new business park on land surrounding the airport’s runway which covers a total of 72 acres.

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