Groundbreaking AIMC4 Consortium Announces Key Sites

After successfully obtaining planning consent, the AIMC4 consortium, created to research and deliver mass market Code Level 4 homes using a fabric-first approach, has announced the project's chosen sites.

The announcement marks a significant milestone in the AIMC4 project and follows an innovative supplier procurement process which included the use of sandpit days, a first for the housebuilding industry, and a series of LEAN workshops. On sites across the UK, the consortium's developer partners; Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson Plc and Barratt Developments Plc, will be working with their selected suppliers to build a total of 17 homes which meet energy level four of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Stewart Milne Group will build eight AIMC4 properties in total, spread over three sites across the UK, utilising Stewart Milne Timber Systems' innovative Sigma II Build System which provides a robust, fit and forget solution to low carbon building. Two large, detached family homes are being built at its flagship development, Leathan Fields, in Portlethen with a further three homes to be constructed at its Athena Grange development in Prestonpans, East Lothian. The developer will also be working in partnership with the Communities Gateway Association and Adactus Housing Association at its Adelphi House development in Preston, to build a terrace of three, three bedroom homes, designed to meet all HCA, Lifetime Homes and Secure by Design requirements.

Crest Nicholson Plc will be building five AIMC4 homes at its new Noble Park development on the outskirts of Epsom, Surrey. All five homes at the site, located in a conservation area surrounded by green space and park land, will meet all elements of the Code for sustainable homes Level 4 and comply with Lifetime Homes. The AIMC4 plots will comprise one four bedroom, detached house using a masonry cavity wall construction and a terrace of four four-bed townhouses using SIPS (structural insulation panel system) construction. The homes will be released for sale to the general public in Spring 2011.

Barratt Northampton, on behalf of Barratt Developments Plc, will build four AIMC4 units as part of its Meridian Park development in Corby, Northamptonshire. The AIMC4 homes will comprise of three and four bedroom properties and work is expected to commence in June 2011.

Commenting on the announcement, Elizabeth Ness, Group sustainability executive of Crest Nicholson Plc said: "This is a groundbreaking moment for the AIMC4 partners and a significant step forward for the project as a whole. The supply chain selection process has been a fascinating journey and it will be great to see all of the hard work come together as the sites go live. All the developers have been working closely with local authorities to gain planning permissions and there has been a very positive response, with senior council figures excited about being involved in such an important housing initiative.

"Once completed, the AIMC4 units will offer consumer-friendly, energy-efficient homes and the subsequent post occupancy evaluations will help inform the future of low carbon housing."

AIMC4 is a £6.4m project, with £3.2m investment from the consortium partners, matched with £3.2m from the Technology Strategy Board. The consortium comprises six members: developers, Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson Plc and Barratt Developments Plc; plus H+H UK Ltd; BRE and Oxford Brookes University.

Throughout the build process, H+H Ltd UK and Stewart Milne Timber Systems will be supporting the developers with their extensive technical knowledge while BRE's SMARTWaste and CALIBRE tools will be used to monitor efficiency, productivity and waste management. Once the homes have been completed and occupied, Oxford Brookes University will then carry out monitoring and occupancy evaluation to assess performance levels and customer reactions.