Victoria Road housing scheme wins UK’s Unlock Net Zero award

Five members of the project team with councillor Gill Williams holding the award against a background of a mural showing scenes from Brighton & Hove

A development of 42 energy-efficient council homes in Brighton & Hove has won building/development of the year from a housing association/local authority at the very first Unlock Net Zero Awards. 
Located in Portslade, the Victoria Road development is the most sustainable new council housing scheme in the city to date providing high quality, affordable to run homes, for people who had been on the city’s housing waiting list.  

Victoria Road is one of the largest schemes completed so far in the city’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, building much-needed homes for rent on council-owned land. 

The future of social housing

The 42 homes are a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom flats, in two buildings, Jay Court and Perching Court.  
Councillor Gill Williams, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Housing and New Homes committee, said: “This development shows how far we’ve come in providing high quality, energy efficient homes for local people.  

“Victoria Road marks a milestone on the way to achieving the city’s net zero ambition. The sustainability features on the new homes will reduce carbon emissions as well as helping residents manage their energy bills. This is the future of social housing.” 

Learning to be low carbon

The scheme was delivered by the City Build Partnership, designed by the council’s in-house architects in the Property and Design team, with Morgan Sindall as the main contractor.  

The ground-breaking scheme is helping to inform other projects to decarbonise buildings. During the project Brighton & Hove’s project team piloted new ways of working and learning is being taken forward to ensure new developments are as low carbon as possible. 

It’s the first time the council has used a ground source heat pump system in a new council housing scheme in the city to supply heating and hot water for the homes, which are also highly insulated. Extra support is being given to tenants to help them run the system efficiently and minimise energy bills. 

Electricity generated from 168 solar panels will power communal services, including lighting and power in communal ways and external lighting. They are designed to provide 63,500kW, saving 14.09 tonnes of carbon. 

The scheme has planted ‘living’ walls, bat boxes, and bird and bee bricks to encourage biodiversity, and a communal garden for residents which includes fruit trees and a wildflower lawn area. 

Unlock Net Zero awards

The Unlock Net Zero Awards recognise and champion progress on the journey to decarbonisation for the UK housing sector and the supply chain that supports it. The awards were hosted alongside the Chartered Institute of Housing’s ‘Housing 2023’ conference in Manchester. 

The judges said of the scheme: “We were very impressed by the broad approach to sustainability across the lifecycle of the project. From the resident engagement to shape design, through to design and construction, to community learning.”

More information

Find out more about the Victoria Road Housing Scheme

More about the Unlock Net Zero awards

PHOTO: Some of the project team with the award: Left to right: Rachel Sharpe, Executive Director, Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities, Paul Cooper, Assistant Director, Councillor Gill Williams, Deputy Leader & Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, Paul Dalton, Project Manager,  Joe Beckett, Senior Architect, Peter Togneri, Head of Architecture & Design.

Related news