Coastal has a continued commitment towards sustainability and has already completed a number of projects to work towards this objective. We continually seek new ways to help towards sustainability and have outlined a few of our projects below:
Low carbon homes – Coed Darcy
Receiving funding from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, this exciting project brings the first modular homes to Coastal. Benefits of building modular homes include a shorter construction time as well as reducing carbon emissions by half of site built homes with all six modular homes having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least an ‘A’.
All of the modular homes were manufactured off site by Ilke Homes at its factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire and then delivered to our site in Neath where they were installed. Watch the installation of the first home below:
Coastal was awarded SHIFT Silver accreditation in late 2021 following an independent audit of its business against environmental targets. SHIFT is the sustainability standard for the housing sector and carries out audits across the UK.
Coastal outperformed 24 of the last 40 organisations audited by SHIFT, winning particular praise for the energy efficiency of its new and existing homes, as well as its work to prevent fuel poverty.
This was our first environmental audit with SHIFT so it was really about establishing a baseline we can use to measure our future, planned improvements. Sustainability has always been a key consideration for Coastal and we take individual and collective responsibility for limiting our environmental impact wherever possible, so it’s gratifying to see that recognised.
Low Carbon Homes – Down To Earth
With funding from Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, we’re working alongside Down To Earth Construction to build 6 low carbon homes, where local materials are a common feature and are built through sustainable construction methods. Down To Earth are a not for profit organisation who work with vulnerable groups to promote health and well-being through construction projects.
Low Carbon Homes – Clos Yr Haul
Boasting 6 timber semi-detached houses with solar panels, Clos Yr Haul in Ammanford was also another development of Coastal’s which has been built with sustainability in mind.
Producing their own energy through solar panels, these homes will save 180,00 tonnes of CO2 over the next 6 decades which is equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road or planting two million trees. Recycled newspaper has been used to create high levels of insulation alongside the local made timber frames and cladding, which together helps lock atmospheric carbon.
Find our more information by watching our short video below.
The Optimised Retrofit Programme is Welsh Government funded. The objective of this project is to decarbonise existing homes to a point where they no longer remit any greenhouse gases. The programme is geared to gather a great deal of data, including indoor temperatures and thermal resistance of walls so that each type of dwelling in Wales can receive a ‘passport’. Head to the Optimised-retrofit.wales for more information.
In our ongoing efforts towards sustainability, our caretakers committed to reducing their usage of tools and machinery which use non-renewable fuels. This change would reduce the release of CO2 into the atmosphere and local environments, creates a reduction in noise pollution, and preserves habitat shelters and pollination opportunities for wildlife. We also currently have 9 battery operated garden machinery (3 strimmers, 6 mowers). This reduces Coastal’s dependence upon fossil fuels as well as the associated carbon emissions.
Coastal’s offices at High Street had previously been covered with decking and an astroturf area, largely so that the roof space could be used by people whilst the roof membrane remained protected. In 2019, a successful application for green infrastructure pilot scheme grants meant that Coastal secured funding in order to swap out the astroturfed roof areas for 154sqm of intensive green roof, with pollinator friendly plants and shrubs which were installed and completed in 2021.
In future it is likely that every home that is able to, will have solar panels on the roof. To date, Coastal has installed 100 low–powered solar arrays on houses as part of the Arbed programme.
The Development department seeks to install solar panel on new homes where possible and recently this has been done at a large site in Gowerton. The Maintenance department is also exploring solar retrofit at scale through the Optimised Retrofit Programme mentioned above and recently solar panels and batteries were installed at Trinity Place in Port Talbot.
We currently have 9 electric vehicles in our fleet and 9 charging points, from central Swansea to Wauncierch in Neath and Ynys Lee, north of Port Talbot. This network makes electric vans a real option for wider deployment, especially as battery technology (and hence driving range) improves.
Coastal has a local procurement preference; that is, in order to keep money within our local economies we will seek to purchase goods, supplies and services from as close to us as possible, and from within Wales where this is not possible. Over the last two years, on average just over 60% of Coastal’s spend per quarter has been put into local companies (based in Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend). A further 26% on average has been with Wales–based suppliers, with almost a further 4.5% being spent on suppliers with a base locally or in Wales.
Coastal has created the Horizon fund for civic improvement across the city and county of Swansea by supporting projects that are part of the Crowdfund Swansea movement. We have published a list of the themes we’re particularly interested in funding through the 2021 crowdfunding cycle and this includes Sustainability and Green Initiatives. So far Horizon has supported 2 projects with the maximum £1K pledge. These are:
Onwards & Uplands – A project to make the Brynmill and Uplands areas of Swansea greener, cleaner, happier and more walkable, with raised beds for growing herbs, shrubs and wildflowers across the community.
Sweet Pickings – A project that identifies and harvests waste fruit and vegetables across the city and county of Swansea and makes the produce available to food banks, soup kitchens and other community food projects.
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