Greenhaus exterior, ECF, p RMS

Buttress designed Greenhaus. Credit: via RMS

ECF completes ambitious affordable Passivhaus resi in Salford

Roughly two years since Eric Wright Construction started constructing the 96-home Greenhaus off Chapel Street, residents have begun moving in.

ECF, formerly English Cities Fund, delivered the scheme in partnership with Salix Homes. ECF is a joint venture between Homes England, Legal & General, and Muse.

Designed by Buttress Architects, Greenhaus sits on the former Shalimar convenience store site. The apartment block spans nine storeys and offers flats for a variety of tenures. There are 11 available for social rent, 13 for affordable, and 72 as rent-to-buy homes. All have either one or two bedrooms.

The homes have been built to Passivhaus Classic certification standards thanks to the help of consultant Max Fordham. This means the Greenhaus flats are among the most sustainable developments around. Air source heat pumps, triple glazing, and EV charging points all add to the scheme’s green credentials – as does its community public square, designed by Planit.

Because of how energy efficient the homes are, ECF estimates that it will cost less than half as much to heat the apartments than their new-build brethren that have a gas boiler.

Simon Hourihan, project director at Muse, said Greenhaus “shows what can be achieved through collaboration on a shared vision and a real desire to deliver something pioneering rather than simply maintaining the status quo”.

Homes England’s Danielle Gillespie, the director of regeneration, partnership, and major projects, added that Greenhaus’s completion was a “significant achievement”.

“The creation of new affordable, sustainable, and high-specification homes contributes to a wider ambition to create healthy living environments which serve the needs and desires of local communities,” she said.

Salix Homes chief executive Sue Sutton pointed out that these homes are “fit for the future and won’t need retrofitting”.

She also added that the housing association was taking steps to ensure residents were able to maximise on the homes’ Passivhaus benefits.

“To help use the development’s green credentials effectively, Salix Homes will also be embarking on a careful education and monitoring process, supporting residents to get the most of out of their new homes,” she said. “We’ll be monitoring the air quality and energy usage, so we can track the long-term benefits and identify lessons learned for future developments.”

Funding for Greenhaus came from NatWest, Homes England, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Greenhaus interior, ECF, p RMS

Air source heat pumps and improved insulation are two aspects of Greenhaus’s green specs. Credit: via RMS

Greenhaus is part of ECF’s £1bn Salford Central project with Salford City Council. The Passivhaus block has already proven to be an inspiration for another ECF Salford scheme – the 100-home Peru Street.

This project is also affordable homes and is part of ECF’s £2.5bn Salford Crescent masterplan – another large-scale regeneration project that ECF is working with Salford City Council on.

Based on the words of Wes Erlam, managing director of urban regeneration at Legal & General Capital, it does not sound like ECF will be dampening its sustainability ambitions anytime soon.

“Social and environmental benefits don’t have to be add-ons to investments: it is possible to pursue and create opportunities that generate long-term, secure income streams whilst also tackling some of the major social, environmental and economic issues facing society,” Erlam said.

“Both the Greenhaus development and ECF’s wider partnership with Salford City Council underscore the many benefits that come from collaboration between investors, developers, and the public sector, and we’re proud to be delivering positive place-based impacts for Salford now and for the long-term.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett also shared his praise for the ECF schemes, saying: “We continue to be immensely proud of the innovation and drive to deliver forward thinking, sustainable developments in Salford – testament to the culture our city fosters and shares with our broader region.

“The regeneration of Salford is burgeoning and our future looking brighter and greener with each and every milestone we reach. We also work to ensure that local people can benefit for the growth and development that is taking place here – creating new jobs and opportunities for all.”

DPP was the planning consultant for Greenhaus’s application from 2021. The project team also included Hollis, AJP, UES, AEC, GRM, SCP Transport, Arc Aero, Hannan, and Salford Archaeology. You can see the original plans by searching application reference number 21/78164/FUL on Salford City Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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I do like and appreciate how this steps back from the road to allow for some landscaping, which I’m sure will be a welcome addition to Chapel St

By Anonymous

Affordable and energy efficient they may be and Salix and ECF deserve great credit for going for ambitious passivhaus levels of performance. But are its sustainability credentials not compromised by the fact that they did not provide any private outdoor space for the residents, ie no balconies? This is surely a disincentive for many residents who would otherwise want to live there long term.

By Balcony watch

This should be the benchmark for good social housing in urban areas. More please.

By Anonymous

Passivehaus should be the standard with low energy bills its a no brainer.

By Anonymous

Just so everyone knows, the ‘affordable’ rents at this development are £900+ for a one bed and £1100+ for a two bed, so I really don’t know why they are marketing this as in anyway affordable housing

By Nathan

Would have liked to have seen more height on this edge of city centre site

By Giant Skyscraper Fan

I hope the build quality on external and internal doors is an improvement on the building next door…

By Chapel St Resident

A truly remarkable scheme by Salix Homes and its partners. To deliver a certified passivhaus project at scale in the current economic climate and given the skills shortage in the construction industry is no mean feat. Social Rent/LHA Capped Rent plus Affordable Rent capped at 80% of the local market provides a range of options for people to access the rented market at a price that reflects their economic circumstances…well done Salix

By Anonymous

Hope Mr Shalimar got one free.

By Gum

@Giant Skyscraper Fan – we have enough soulless towers in Manchester/Salford. There are some listed buildings next door so anything higher than this would be inappropriate. You can’t just build towers everywhere.

By Anonymous

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