A big eco ambition on a small site

Five new ‘eco’ homes have been completed on a ‘micro site’ in Enfield, which combine environmental efficiency with a traditional feel. Nic London, of SME builder and developer NLondon Construction, spoke to Jack Wooler.

o the north of the capital, the London Borough of Enfield is the recipient of five new highly energy efficient homes, constructed by NLondon Construction in Bush Hill Park. Overlooking Enfield Cricket Ground, the bespoke-built terrace in Lincoln Road has been built to stringent energy specifi- cations, offering an electric-powered heating and energy system, powered in part – and sometimes in full – by a combi- nation of discreet solar PV panels and a battery storage system.


The homes are deceptively large – approaching through low-maintenance landscaped front gardens with off street parking, the new micro development doesn’t immediately give away the scale of the interiors. Each unit houses four large double bedrooms, a reception room, luxury kitchen, and three bathrooms – one of which in each property offers a wall-mounted TV by the bath. In addition to an innovative energy system, each also has an EV car charger, and private garden to the rear.

These luxury fittings are supplemented with a ‘hassle-free design,’ which includes low maintenance specification in the gardens, the intelligent energy system, and 10 year Build Assure Warranty, ensur- ing residents’ stability for years to come.

AN ETHOS OF EFFICIENCY When discussing the process behind these homes and the offerings with Nic London, construction manager at NLondon Construction, it soon became clear that an ecologically-driven focus on energy- efficiency was vital to the development process; it’s also an integral part of this particular professional’s ethos. “As a builder and developer, all my life I’ve tried to use or introduce as many eco products into our builds as I can,” said Nic. The first house the firm built, in 2012, was made from highly insulating hemp block and lime mortar inside a timber frame, for which they won a couple of awards, and NLondon has even produced its own hemp products. However the company decided not to propose such a pure ‘eco’ fabric for the Enfield scheme, after NLondon’s experi- ences with promoting its hemp blocks at the Grand Designs consumer trade show. “People have still got this mentality about bricks and mortar, as soon as you say timber frame they’re not interested, they want classic.” He says that as a result, the firm’s thinking was, “how can we build this development in a traditional style, while still offering some eco-advantages?” Their answer to this question was a renewable energy ecosystem provided by The Phoenix Works, involving a high efficiency solar PV system, a Tesla Powerwall home battery, and an air- source heat pump – all built in the classic brick and block build that NLondon’s audience is after. With no need to connect to the gas grid, the heat pump meets all of the properties’ heating needs, both in terms of hot water and underfloor heating – the system is able to heat 250 litres of hot water in 35 minutes from cold. This is then powered by a mix of the renewable energy the home itself produces, supplemented by green electricity from the grid supplied by Tonik Energy – the former generated via the solar panels and then stored in the 14 kWh battery for either direct or later use.


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