Students celebrate opening of Calderdale’s first zero carbon homes

Opening of Pennine Housing's zero carbon homes  at Hollybush Close, Sowerby.'Students from Ryburn Valley High School with headteacher Honor Byford (far right) and , from back left, Richard Panter from the Homes and Communities Agency, Tom Sykes from Watson Batty Architects, Mark Whitley and Craig Stevens from Bramall Construction and chairman of Pennine Housing Peter Caffrey.
Opening of Pennine Housing's zero carbon homes at Hollybush Close, Sowerby.'Students from Ryburn Valley High School with headteacher Honor Byford (far right) and , from back left, Richard Panter from the Homes and Communities Agency, Tom Sykes from Watson Batty Architects, Mark Whitley and Craig Stevens from Bramall Construction and chairman of Pennine Housing Peter Caffrey.
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Ryburn Valley High students helped to celebrate the opening of a group of seven new homes for rent close to their school off Beechwood Avenue, Sowerby.

All the properties on Holybush Close are designed to meet exacting environmental standards and two are carbon neutral.

The properties have been built by Pennine Housing 2000 and Bramall Construction with grants of £300,000 from Calderdale Council and £840,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Pennine management, repairs and maintenance staff have been specially trained to understand how the renewable technologies work.

Pupils from Ryburn Valley High have visited the Beechwood Avenue site regularly and have taken part in a classroom based learning to find out more about sustainability and zero carbon working. They have produced a simple Information, advice and guidance booklet for the new residents.

As well as the homes in Sowerby, Pennine has built three low carbon properties in Foster Lane, Hebden Bridge, and two at Swan Place, Todmorden.

The houses have solar panels, mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems, water butts for the gardens and underground tanks to collect rainwater to feed external taps and flush the ground floor toilet.

Biomass boilers burning wood, logs and wood pellets, provide heating and hot water.

These are classed as carbon neutral because they absorb as much carbon when they are growing as they release when they are burnt.

There are also low energy bulbs, duel flush toilets and thermostatically controllable showers/baths.