Scheme Summary

The scheme comprises a private development of 24 houses and a business centre, built in the small village of Collingham near Newark, Nottinghamshire. The houses range from 2 - 6 bedrooms and prices start from 57,000 rising to over 345,000. The energy efficient features of the homes exceeded a SAP of 100 and an NHER of 10. Although the scheme is not providing social housing it is an example of good practice in the private sector.

Scheme Details

Gusto Construction Ltd is a locally based company in Nottinghamshire. In 1998 a decision was taken to develop a range of house types for the new millennium. Working with local trades-people, Millennium Green was developed. It proves that sustainable homes can be built cost effectively in the private sector whilst being attractive to house buyers.

The brief was to develop homes that, at each aspect of design and construction, incorporated environmental good practice and sustainable development objectives, along with common sense and traditional ideals.

Materials were selected with low embodied energy, and consideration was given to environmental impacts throughout the materials' lifecycle. The development sought to ensure that future residents had the opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life whilst reducing their impacts on the environment.

Environmental Features

The houses include many of the environmental features that have been adopted by RSLs. Built to standard brick and block specifications, the houses include three times the insulation level of Building Regulations (2000). Roof insulation is made from cellulose (recycled newspaper).

Windows are Scandinavian style timber frames with argon filled low emissivity double glazing. The houses are orientated to maximise passive solar gain. A higher level of glazing is found on the southern aspect, with glazing minimised to the north.

A mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system has been included to ensure a healthy living environment. Heating is provided using a conventional wet radiator system, and a condensing gas boiler.

Rainwater is recycled from the roofs for toilet flushing, washing machine and garden use. Efficient aerated taps and showers will also minimise water consumption.

Solar water heating is provided through solar panels that should generate hot water to meet 60% of the householders needs. Both flat plate collectors and evacuated tube systems are used throughout the development.

Additional energy savings (and CO2 savings) will be made from low energy light fittings and appliances. A master light panel controlling lights to all rooms is located next to the front door. This should encourage the switching off of unnecessary lights when leaving the house.

Lower electricity, gas and water bills are expected. The properties will cost 50-70% less to run that a conventional house. Overall CO2 emissions should be reduced by 70%. Additional savings are anticipated in the long run due to the low maintenance design of the homes. All homes are registered with the "Energy Cost Guarantee Scheme" which guarantees a maximum level of gas bill over a three year period.

Doors are designed to accommodate wheelchair access.

Sustainability even extends to ecologically friendly landscaping to the gardens.

The larger six bedroom homes are achieved by using the roof space to provide additional accommodation. All homes are ISDN and internet connected to enable home working.


The environmental features included added approximately 10% to the build cost.

Developer's Comments

Our company has just won the Parcelforce Worldwide Small Business Award for the East Midlands. Our customers are so pleased with their new high performance homes that they have entered us in the Daily Express Housebuilder of the Year Award.

I am amazed by the level of interest in our Millennium Green development and am encouraged to keep innovating in all sectors of our business.

Contact: Stephen Wright,
Managing Director,
Gusto Construction Ltd,
The Old Railway Tavern,
Station Road,
Notts. NG23 7RA
Tel: 01636 894900
Fax: 01636 893388