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Winner announced: PECH design competition

Alex R
24th May 2023
Top Hat Visualisation

PEC Homes have appointed TopHat as preferred bidder to bring forward plans for affordable net zero housing at our Kings Tamerton site.

Our ambition was to find a solution provider who could design and deliver housing which integrated high fabric performance and renewable energy systems; guarantee that the houses would generate more power than they used each year; drive down maintenance costs; and support the Energiesprong model of charging a modest ‘comfort charge’ in place of energy bills for residents.

Top Hat Visualisation

TopHat made a very impressive bid using a ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC) approach, where they will build the homes offsite in a factory, then delivery them to site where they are craned into position. This approach allows them to achieve a very high energy performance at a competitive price; it also means less traffic to site and quicker construction speeds.

“We were really impressed with what TopHat brought to the table. Their modular construction process provides us a great deal of confidence of the energy performance of the houses, and confidence that TopHat are able to stand behind the performance guarantee of these homes – something we require to be able to test the Energiesprong approach.”

Alistair Macpherson, Plymouth Energy Community

Alistair Cropped Square 1

Their designs also utilised air source heat pumps, rooftop solar panels and battery storage in each home. Their scheme was anticipated to provide the largest energy generation surplus and surpassed the net-zero requirements of the Energiesprong approach.

TopHat have already started refining and adding detail to their designs with the goal of submitting a full reserved matters planning application in summer 2023.

"TopHat have enjoyed the process of working in a truly collaborative way with the extended PEC team on the King’s Tamerton project. We share the same ethos and drivers to deliver beautiful, well-designed homes that really work and are affordable to live in, now and in the future."

Fenella Lowden, Client Solutions Manager TopHat

“This is a significant step towards delivering zero carbon housing across the UK. The PEC Homes design competition for the first new build Energiesprong project in the UK has delivered cost-effective solutions that deliver guaranteed comfort every day and affordable energy costs. It is now even clearer that continuing to build new homes today that will need expensive zero carbon retrofit in future makes no sense at all.”

Ian Hutchcroft, Director at Energiesprong UK

Ian Hutchcroft web

Want to find out more?

Sign up to join our webinar at 3pm on Thursday 25th May to find out more about the design competition and what we've learned through the process.