Cornwall’s Verto plans 40 Zero Carbon Smart Home development for Exeter

The UK’s leading sustainable housebuilder Verto is to expand further into Devon and Somerset with the next step to create a new community of Exeter’s first carbon-negative homes.

Cornwall-based Verto’s newest development in Pinhoe, which sits on the edge of Exeter, will deliver 40 two-, three-, four- and, five-bedroom Zero Carbon Smart Homes including 10 affordable homes. Work is expected to start in Q2 of this year.

In Somerset, the company has projects in a development pipeline which has the potential to deliver up to an additional 170 homes.

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Verto has also submitted a reserved planning application for a world-first Zero Carbon Student Village at Penvose, Falmouth. The site, which will be the first of its kind, will house up to 1,858 students and provide a host of retail and leisure facilities for students and the community.

The site will also alleviate strains placed on the community, including freeing-up of much valued car parking space, as well as housing stock in the towns of Falmouth and Penryn. Verto currently has multiple live projects across the South West, including Carbis Bay, Newquay, Rock, Falmouth and Mylor.

Founded by Tom Carr and Richard Pearce 11 years ago, Truro-headquartered Verto is the first UK housebuilder to specialise in the design, build and sale of smart homes which produce zero carbon emissions.

Already supporting the South West in tackling climate change, it said it is setting the pace for the UK housing industry. The company’s homes deliver Energy Performance Certificate ratings as high as 120A, believed to be the highest in the country currently.

This rating translates to negative two tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, compared to the average household emission of six tonnes of carbon dioxide, an enormous difference of eight tonnes a year per home.

How the Zero Carbon Smart Homes that Verto aims to build in Exeter could look How the Zero Carbon Smart Homes that Verto aims to build in Exeter could look

The homes are also fitted with a MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) systems, triple-glazed, argon-filled windows, and are built using timber frame construction and progressive insulation for zero heat loss, ensuring any heat created stays within the home.

Owners can also generate their own electricity using solar panels while the homes’ smart energy devices learn which rooms people are using less, so owners are only heating and lighting the rooms they use regularly.

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While new Government regulations state emissions from all new-build homes must be 30% lower than current standards, Verto said it is exceeding and going beyond this target by building homes that produce zero carbon emissions or better.

Mr Carr said: “The Government’s future homes standard mandates that all new homes built from 2025 should produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under current regulations.

“But with the urgent need to address climate change now and the significant contribution buildings make towards CO2 emissions, it’s important we act now to ensure the wellbeing of people and our planet. Our scaling up into Exeter and into Somerset is the next step in our journey to fight for zero carbon on the home front.”

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William TelfordBusiness Editor, Plymouth Live