St. Modwen plans to deliver up to 350 new all-electric homes on the historic MG Rover site that was once home to the MINI in Birmingham. Powered by a dedicated ‘smart grid’, electricity will be supplied and tracked across a network of homes to ensure this first phase of homes will be 100% gas-free. The innovation is believed to be the first to be used by a major developer as St. Modwen continues to pioneer sustainable new ways to build and power homes. The smart grid design is being developed alongside SNRG, specialists in next generation energy infrastructure. This latest move follows the launch earlier in 2022 of St. Modwen’s first carbon-negative homes, a landmark trial that makes homes so airtight that they can return power to the UK grid.
By using the latest construction techniques and embracing new renewable technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps, the carbon-negative homes are designed to produce more energy than they consume and could reduce a family’s total energy bills by 76% when compared with a standard new-build house. Aspects of this trial will be deployed in the new electric homes and in turn across all new developments by St. Modwen as carbon-reducing technology becomes standard.
Sarwjit Sambhi, CEO of St. Modwen, said: “Every organisation needs to be taking steps to deliver more sustainable products and services, but at St. Modwen we have taking leaps, by introducing carbon-negative homes and smart-grid powered developments. We’re proving that greener homes can be delivered at commercial scale, something which is not just the right thing for the environment but also allows us to meet the demand of our customers.”
Outline planning was secured for the Longbridge site in 2021 for a total of 350 new homes. Detailed planning for the first phase is currently with the local authority, meaning new homes are expected to be built by St. Modwen Homes from the Autumn 2022.
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands Combined Authority, added:“I congratulate St. Modwen on building the innovative green homes of the future right here in our region. These new homes will be wonderful places to live, boost energy efficiency and affordability and help us to tackle the climate emergency. Longbridge is a brilliant example that points the way to a more sustainable future for the West Midlands – fast becoming a fantastic hub from which to live, work and play as well as creating high quality job opportunities for our local residents along the way. I’m pleased the West Midlands Combined Authority has been able to play its part – investing over €7.1m (£6m) at Longbridge. I wish the scheme continued success.”