Blackrock Street, Manchester

Blackrock Street is a development in Beswick, East Manchester for housing provider One Manchester containing 22 sustainable affordable homes.

The scheme comprises a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes for social rent. The scheme is gas-free built to the Passivhaus standard. The project makes use of modular construction, with pre-fabricated pre-insulated timber frame panels making up the external fabric. This allows for cost effective efficient construction whilst facilitating the performance level required by Passivhaus.

Two of the three bedroom dwellings target zero-carbon status both for operational and embodied carbon, making them among the first truly zero carbon social rent homes in the UK.

This is achieved through the use of Passivhaus levels of energy efficiency, combined with solar photovoltaic panels. An embodied carbon assessment accounting for the benefits of timber frame construction and the design team minimising the use of materials with high levels of embodied carbon alongside GWPA’s Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy assessment is used to determine the schemes carbon balance. Ongoing measurement of the project’s energy use is being undertaken.

Expertise from GWPA Passivhaus Designer Daniel Tomlinson, Eco-res, main contractor John Southworth Builders and client One Manchester have allowed the team to reach this high level, while making sure we met the criteria for low carbon living and much needed affordable homes.