Ashton Rise 8

Ashton Rise Housing, Bristol

The council house new build programme is an integral part of my commitment to increasing the number of new homes in the city. This scheme is the next phase of that programme, and a chance for us to start doing things differently.

Marvin Reeves | Mayor of Bristol

In progress
133
New homes
95%
SME spend
300-400%
Energy efficiency

Bristol Council’s largest residential scheme in nearly 40 years.

The development of 133 new homes is the first of its kind for Bristol City Council as, through a joint venture with Willmott Dixon, it has been able to build much needed new housing for local people. The mixed tenure development features 40% affordable council homes for the city, available for social rent, whilst proceeds from the private sales are reinvested to fund the construction of the new council homes on the site.

The scheme forms part of Bristol's Mayor’s commitment to build 2000 new homes, including 800 affordable a year, in the city by 2020. As part of this commitment, the council is not just looking at the number of houses being built, but also at the quality of homes and the communities which they create.

Building for the people of Bristol

Bristol City Council’s key drivers were to deliver affordable homes in a more cost-efficient manner whilst maintaining high quality and sustainability standards.

Located in a thriving area of South Bristol, with good transport links to central Bristol and the open parkland of Ashton Court, the 133 homes consist of a mixture of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, and one- and two-bedroom apartments. The designs ensure that the housing is extremely energy efficient, bringing down utility bills dramatically for its residents.

The project also utilises modern methods of construction (MMC), with the houses adopting the innovative Sig iHouse solution, and the apartment blocks using a lightweight Fusion steel frame. Both solutions will enable the homes to be watertight quicker.

Building during Covid-19

Willmott Dixon and their supply chain partners have worked heroically to embed the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures to keep Ashton Rise open during Covic-19.

Innovations to keep the site open throughout Covid-19 have included widening pedestrian routes, creating hold points in bottleneck areas and setting up hand cleaning stations. To ease congestion at busy times of the day, there is a lunch and break rota. This was furthered through the creation of additional breakout space by adapting some of the housing plots into temporary canteens and break areas.

Further to progressing the build of the site, Willmott Dixon is also working alongside Bristol City Council to manage the sales and marketing of the homes for sale on their behalf, drawing on the expertise of the Development Solutions team. Through the more stringent lockdown period, the sales teams took an adapted approach by working remotely and making use of digital sales tools to continue to promote the development. The use of digital technology in the marketing suite means purchasers could get a real feel for the homes, giving them more confidence to reserve off-plan.

This has contributed to the council achieving reservations on more than half of Ashton Rise’s dwellings at the time of writing, with a number of new reservations achieved during the lockdown period.

Removing fossil fuel reliance

The use of sustainable technologies is a key feature of Ashton Rise, with the complex benefitting from fossil fuel free ground source heat pump technology for sourcing heating and hot water at each of the properties. Created using a series of boreholes to sustainably extract low grade heat stored in the ground, the heat pumps deliver a sustainable alternative to gas and remove a dependence on fossil fuels.

Once the housing development is complete it is anticipated that the ground source heat pumps deliver considerable efficiency savings. This is through the ground source heat pumps producing 3-4kWh of heat energy for every 1kWh of electricity used, making them 300-400% efficient, in comparison to a typical boiler which achieves an efficiency of around 90%.

We know that housing remains a top priority for the council, and we are delighted to be able to help the council’s ambitious housing vision become a reality. These high quality homes, are a great addition to the local community, helping to support the needs of a growing city like Bristol."

Neal Stephens | Willmott Dixon
Managing director of Wales and West region

As I have made very clear, we cannot meet our ambitious targets on our own, so that is why we are working with partners, including Wilmott Dixon, who can help us make a real difference to the city."

Marvin Reeves
Mayor of Bristol

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PROJECT STATISTICS

Project value

£21 million

Completion due

April 2021

Sector

Housing

SME engagement

89%

SME spend

95%

Fair payment

100%

SROI

28.9%

Added SROI

6.9%

University research projects

10

Considerate Constructor

43

School workshops (no of students)

132

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