Property developer Lendlease has melded Victorian architectural notes with bleeding edge eco-specs in its latest project, launching “Futurehome” at Elephant Park.
The 15 new-build townhouses have been designed by MaccreanorLavington Architects (interiors by Amos & Amos), and look a bit 19th century at first glance – but don’t have any of the normally-associated drafts and creaks. These units have been built to Passivhaus standards – the world’s highest accreditation for ultra-energy-efficient living – and are, according to the developer, the first new homes in London’s Zone One to be built to such exacting sustainable standards. Passivhaus homes, a construction standard first developed in Germany, use up to 90% less energy compared with an average home.
It’s not just a moral high-ground that Lendlease is aiming for with this project (on a deeply controversial site which has proved popular with overseas buyers – which Transparency International has taken to serious affront to): Lendlease cites YouGov/Carbon Trust research which indicates that “climate change [is] now affecting the buying decisions of one in five people across the UK”, to justify targeting the growing number of eco-conscious homebuyers.
And the Victorian-inspired design approach is similarly calculated. Brick facades and bay windows slot well into the neighbouring Larcom Street conservation area, but research by Savills also suggests that buyers are willing to pay a 4.1% premium for a Victorian home in central London.
Prices start from £1.495m for a three-bed “Futurehome” townhouse.
Futurehome is the latest batch of units in Lendlease’s £2bn 28-acre regeneration project, Elephant Park (which might be more familiar by its former name: the Heygate Estate), in Elephant & Castle, which will deliver around 3,000 new homes alongside about 11 acres of new public space.
All homes at Elephant Park get some form of eco-credentials: they are all being built with an energy efficiency rating 30% higher than standard regulation, often using timber in place of the more usual concrete or steel, and it’s the only UK project to participate in the C40 Cities Climate Positive Development Program. There’s also going to be electric car charging points, a three-year membership to a car club for every occupant, and rooftop “grow gardens” – plus more usual amenities.
Jonathan Emery, Managing Director of Property, Europe at Lendlease: “The launch of Futurehome at Elephant Park presents a unique opportunity for eco-conscious consumers who want a home that reduces its impact on the environment, without compromising on comfort, design or location. As the first new build homes built to Passivhaus standard in zone one London, Futurehome marks a significant milestone for sustainable urban living. Tailoring the time-honoured Victorian style to modern lifestyle need, in line with ultra-low energy standards, Futurehome provides buyers with a unique opportunity to own a highly sustainable home, set within the capital’s new green heart.”