Willmott Dixon and Catalyst Housing Group are set to build what they believe is London’s first Code for Sustainable Homes level six project, the highest standard possible for sustainable housing.

Only a handful of developments in the country have reached level six and this project to build 18 homes on Staines Road in Hounslow aims to be an exemplar for delivering highly sustainable, low carbon emitting homes in a busy urban location.

With the UK aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent in 2050, and housing a large producer of those emissions, the focus is on the industry creating better performing, energy efficient housing. By achieving the highest standard under the Code for Sustainable Homes, the team on the Staines Road project will capture learning and feed it back into similar schemes in the future.

Meeting the high specification will be done through a combination of technologies. They include 450 square metres of photovoltaic panels, biomass plant and rainwater harvesting. The units will also be super insulated to ensure they have very low U values. Solar shading panels will also keep the structures cool in summer.

Willmott Dixon will take possession of the site this month and, following demolition work commencing in April, will start building work in July, with completion in October 2011. The development, designed by architects MEPK, comprises 14 flats and four houses for rent and shared ownership.

Willmott Dixon chief executive John Frankiewicz says, “We aim to use this to learn how to make level six homes affordable and replicable so that they can be built more often. At the moment, barely one hundred homes exist that are this standard and taking into account the climate change challenges we face, we need to have a step change.”