It’s taken 3 years and a huge amount of work to get this far, so we haven’t been able to spend too long celebrating! Now the next phase begins. We’re hoping to get this done much more quickly, and the plan is to have our first residents moving in by Spring 2020. This is a rough timetable for getting to that point:
Spring 2019: Ground survey
As part of our planning application, we had a desktop survey done of the ground conditions. This looked at whether there was any record of mining in the area, the geology, flood risk etc. That all looked fine – but now at phase 2 the company will get a drill on site and see what’s really there. This will help us plan the groundworks for the project – the road, foundations and services, ground source heat pumps and the storage tank for the sustainable drainage solution.
Spring 2019: Information packs, expression of interest list
Coming soon will be information packs, detailing the houses and their features. They will include finance for the scheme and options for custom build and self-finishing. There will also be a sign-up form on the website for expressions of interest in buying a home in Bramble Row. These people will be contacted first when we are ready to take deposits to secure a home.
Late Spring 2019: Detailed drawings
So far, the plans have shown what the homes will look like, their size, position and layout. These will now be fine-tuned to show materials, finishes, window installation details, cladding panel sizes and layout, eave and verge details and much more, all while ensuring that everything works to Passivhaus standards. Even more detail is needed than for a standard brick and tile building, as a lot of builders are less familiar with this construction and these are the plans they will work from.
Summer 2019: Civil Engineering
This is where we shift material around the site to adjust the ground levels and excavate the foundations. The services such as drains and electricity will be connected from existing networks to the plots. The boreholes for the ground source heat pumps will be sunk and sustainable drainage tanks built underground in front of the houses. The roads and parking will be built on top.
Autumn/Winter 2019: Building Works
This will involve ordering the timber frame shells then getting them up on site. Depending on the custom build options chosen, they will be finished to different extents – anything from empty shell, to partition walls included, to kitchen and bathroom fitted, to completely decorated.
Spring 2020: First people move in
Bramble Row is in effect 2 terraces of 5 houses, connected by a service area housing the ground source heat pump, rainwater harvesting system, solar panel controls and other shared equipment. The homes will probably built one block of 5 first, then the other a couple of months later.
Summer 2020: Project complete
…and we all live happily ever after!