Net Zero

11 JAN 2024


Sustainable housing developer EDAROTH - a wholly owned subsidiary of AtkinsRéalis - has signed a development agreement with Bristol City Council.

The agreement is to design and deliver 29 affordable homes, based on a new model created under Bristol's involvement in the UN Climate Smart Cities challenge.

The new homes will be a mix of 13 houses and 16 apartments and will be constructed using offsite manufacturing methods to create low energy-use, net zero homes - which will provide additional capacity for the housing market and directly tackle the housing crisis.

Subject to planning approvals, they will be developed at six sites across Bristol on under-utilised land owned by the city council, including brownfield which is often overlooked by large-scale housing developers, but can be adapted/repurposed to unlock new space for communities.

Central to the development agreement are the sustainable construction methods that are used by EDAROTH including: 

  • The majority of the building parts are manufactured in a UK factory before being transported and assembled on-site. 
  • The carbon impact of the development process is reduced and also ensures the homes will be delivered more quickly compared with traditional methods of construction.
  • There is minimal disruption to residents living near the development sites as a result. 
  • The new homes will be built to EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) A+, the highest efficiency rating possible to keep energy usage and carbon emissions low.

Mark Powell, managing director at EDAROTH (an acronym for Everyone Deserves a Roof Over Their Head), said: “Entering into a development agreement with Bristol City Council underlines their position as a forward-thinking local authority which places value in sustainable housing and infrastructure.

“Bristol, in common with the rest of the country, faces a huge demand for affordable homes. This scheme is one part of the solution which not only supports the ambition to meet that demand, but also aims to enhance communities by transforming under-used sites to create thriving places to live. 

“The agreement is a really important step in this project which demonstrates the city council’s confidence in the proposals we’ve put forward and their determination to deliver low carbon, low-energy-use homes for the community.”

The agreement is based on an award-winning approach developed by the city council, and the One City team, with partners including the Housing Festival, AtkinsRéalis and EDAROTH, as one of four winning projects in the UN Habitat Climate Smart Cities Challenge in 2022. 

Part of the challenge involved the creation of a demonstrator scheme that could prove how aggregating small sites for development, and overcoming systemic barriers, could unlock previously unviable sites to deliver truly affordable social housing. 

The new approach identifies small parcels of land for development such as brownfield or under-used garage sites, within existing residential areas, which is more effective in creating social value and cohesion as it enables those existing communities to thrive.

Zoe Metcalfe, client director for connected thriving places, AtkinsRéalis who led on the competition application process for AtkinsRéalis, said: “Winning the UN Smart Cities Challenge as the Bristol Thriving Places team enabled us to explore viable sites for development and devise this approach around them. 

“The wisdom of the EDAROTH development team has been instrumental in translating theory into reality. The Housing Festival boldly led the systems-led change to disrupt the evaluation model to deliver social value with Bristol City Council facilitating innovation. An exemplar of the power of collective action through trusted partnerships.

“It really shows how the principle of aggregating and clustering sites in this way can help to unlock value and achieve the economies of scale that are central to the offsite manufacturing approach which EDAROTH delivers, and we’re thrilled that Bristol City Council has chosen to turn those potential benefits into a reality through this new development agreement.”

A public engagement process has been launched, with information packs and questionnaires issued to residents near to the development sites to provide feedback.

The development agreement with Bristol City Council follows the recent announcement that EDAROTH has been given the green light to provide state-of-the-art, sustainable homes in Surrey, after Raven Housing Trust was granted planning permission for its latest housing scheme.

The scheme in Surrey is the latest in a number of new contracts across southeast England for EDAROTH, which is bringing a fresh approach to the housing crisis by utilising brownfield and former industrial land to release genuine social and economic value from often overlooked assets.


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