The first and largest Passivhaus, affordable development in the North West

Greenhaus is Salix Homes’ latest flagship new-build scheme, which opened in March 2024.

It’s a highly sustainable development comprising 96 homes on Chapel Street, Salford – which is a highly-sought after location, and an area which is currently undergoing significant investment as part of a wider regeneration project.

The one and two-bedroom homes are available in a mix of tenures including social rent, affordable rent and rent-to-buy, giving more people the opportunity to live in homes in a desirable area, which are sustainable and affordable.

The nine-storey apartment block has been built to Passivhaus Classic certified standard. It’s the first and largest development of its kind in the region, setting the benchmark for new-build, affordable and sustainable homes that are fit-for-the-future.

What’s Passivhaus?

Passivhaus is the gold standard for energy efficient buildings and construction, creating homes with high thermal comfort and improved air quality.

Buildings constructed to Passivhaus standards are meticulously designed and built to be extremely airtight, well-insulated, and utilise solar power and internal heat sources to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature without relying heavily on mechanical heating or cooling systems.

Residents can benefit from a healthier living environment, reduced energy consumption and homes that are cheaper to heat and run.

The sustainable features at Greenhaus include triple glazed windows, the latest insulation technology, improved ventilation and airtightness, air source heat pumps and publicly accessible electric vehicle charging points.

Why are we doing this?

Sustainability is a key focus for Salix Homes, and we’re committed to improving the energy efficiency of all our homes and buildings to benefit both our customers and the environment, aiming to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2038.

Delivering truly sustainable homes that are also affordable is a challenge, and high-spec homes with the energy saving credentials of Greenhaus are uncommon in the social housing sector.

While the initial cost of building Passivhaus standard homes might be higher, Salix Homes has considered the long-term savings to be made on repairs and maintenance or complex and expensive retrofit solutions, as well as the financial and health benefits for residents.

What’s does this mean for customers?

Living in a Passivhaus-certified home, like Greenhaus, offers a more comfortable, healthier, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective living environment with benefits such as lower energy bills, improved indoor air quality and long-term sustainability.

Salford is the 18th most deprived area in the UK and the majority of our customers are in receipt of welfare benefits. The homes at Greenhaus help reduce fuel poverty for residents, with the monthly cost of heating and hot water expected to be around £40, compared to £95 for a similar sized new-build home with a gas boiler.

Passivhaus properties offer a range of health benefits for residents, and can reduce the impact on the NHS and the costs associated with illness related to poor quality housing and health inequality.

Salford has the highest mortality rate from lung disease in England, and Passivhaus homes offer exceptional indoor air quality. The airtightness, thermal comfort and improved ventilation help protect against airborne pollutants, reduce the risk of illness associated with living in cold homes, and minimise the risk of damp, mould and condensation.

Supporting Greenhaus customers

Using the homes and their high-tech ‘green’ features correctly is vital in ensuring the success of Greenhaus, and we have developed a careful education and monitoring process for new residents.

All customers receive a detailed user guide and instructional videos to help them get to grips with their new home and ensure it continually performs as it was designed to.

We’ve also set up a specialist support team for our Passivhaus customers and have installed technology to remotely monitor the air quality and energy usage in their home. We’re monitoring the data, along with repairs and maintenance expenditure, alongside non-Passivhaus developments to help track the long-term benefits and identify lessons learned.

We’re also working in partnership with Salford University to track the health of the Greenhaus residents, in a bid to further understand the health benefits of living in Passivhaus property.

What do customers say?

Mature student Harriette Matthews was amongst the first residents to move in at Greenhaus. Prior to moving in, she had been staying on her dad’s sofa in his one-bedroom flat following a relationship breakdown.

I just can’t put into words how much of a difference having my own home will make to my life,” she said.

“When I got the call from my housing officer at Salix Homes to say I had a place at Greenhaus, I just couldn’t believe it – I feel so lucky. It’s feels like the final piece of the puzzle has finally slotted into place and I can start living my life now.”

Everyone deserves a place to call home and hearing the stories and the journey that some of our Greenhaus residents, like Harriette, have been on, really highlights the pressing need for more social and affordable housing in our communities, and is testament to the difference that having safe and secure housing can make.

Read more about Harriette and some of the other new residents.

Partnership working

Greenhaus has been delivered in partnership with the English Cities Fund (ECF) – a joint venture between nationwide placemaker Muse, Legal & General and Homes England, to bring together the public and private sector to transform urban areas. It’s supported by Salford City Council which provided the land for the development.

Salix Homes is the housing association partner and we’ve financed the project after securing funding with our banking partner NatWest, along with grants from Homes England and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

With the rising cost of living, a shortage in the supply of affordable and social housing, and a need to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis, Greenhaus demonstrates what can be achieved through effective partnership working, and a shared desire to create cleaner, greener, and healthier homes that are fit for the future and won’t need retrofitting.

What’s next?

Following on from the success of the Greenhaus development, we’ve established a solid partnership with ECF to build more affordable homes in Salford that are high quality, cleaner and greener.

In April 2024, construction began on a second Passivhaus-certified development – Willohaus – on Peru Street, and will deliver another 100 highly-sustainable and affordable homes.

Greenhaus and Willohaus represent a new era of high quality, sustainable and affordable homes, and we’re incredibly proud to be delivering new homes which are better for the environment, support carbon reduction targets, and help reduce fuel poverty for residents.

Read more about our Willohaus development.

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