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SALFORD UNIVERSITY ECO HOUSES GO BACK FOR THE FUTURE
 

Star date: 4th July 2011

SALFORD LOW ENERGY HOUSES BUILT 30 YEARS AGO STILL LEAD THE WAY – SO WHY DID SALFORD COUNCIL BULLDOZE THEM IN LOWER BROUGHTON?

"All concerned in the `New Broughton' new build should be ashamed of what they have done" New Broughton resident

New research from the University of Salford shows that houses built to a special design for Salford City Council in the early 80s are still 50% more energy efficient than the UK average – and could provide a blueprint for the future of house building in this country.

Despite those living in some of these special houses in Lower Broughton screaming about their benefits to anyone who would listen, Salford Council, in its wisdom, bulldozed them three years ago to make way for what residents are calling `creaking wooden boxes'…

Full story here...


A new report from the University of Salford is called `The SALFORD Low Energy House: Learning From Our Past'. Could it be any more ironic?

"The three bedroom home I had on Ascension Rd. was far cheaper to heat than this two bedroomed creaking wooden box" Val Broadbent

A new 19 page report from the University of Salford goes into great thermal detail explaining how houses designed by the University for Salford Council thirty years ago are still way more energy efficient than most houses in Britain.

Two hundred of these so-called SALFORD houses were built by Salford Council in Pendleton and Lower Broughton, with around another fifty built by the private sector in Ordsall.

Last year, Salford University went back to study the houses that are still standing and concluded that "the SALFORD design continues to be ahead of its time" adding "Dwellings designed to the SALFORD house principles are expected to be able to meet the proposed 2016 near-zero Carbon Regulations at competitively low capital cost".

The energy use results from the houses even now are almost the same as when the houses were first monitored in the early 1980s…

For heating, the SALFORD houses use 75% less energy than the general UK housing stock, and are 50% more efficient in general energy use. And, the report explains, "the period of a year in which heating is required to maintain comfortable internal temperatures is also reduced from the UK average of around seven months to three to four months in the SALFORD dwellings". The SALFORD houses even use 40% less energy than houses built to the latest 2010 Building Regulations.

Incredible. Now the University is arguing that the SALFORD house design should be used as a blueprint for the future of energy saving houses. And none of this would have happened, the report explains, without the foresight of Salford Council, which, in 1975, approached the University to help design houses for low income, fuel poor tenants…

Thirty years later and Salford Council gave the go-ahead for three streets in Lower Broughton that were full of these houses to be obliterated from the landscape to make way for Countryside Properties New Broughton project.

And, as Val Broadbent, one of the original occupants of the bulldozed super SALFORD houses on Ascension Road explains, the new Countryside Properties houses aren't fit to lick the doorsteps of her old home…

"All concerned in the New Broughton new build – the Council, Countryside, Salix, Contour - should be ashamed of what they have done" she says "They keep telling us how much better off we are. But the three bedroom home I had on Ascension Road was far cheaper to heat than this two bedroomed creaking wooden box.

"Everything about this new house falls far short of what we had, not just on energy efficiency, on everything" she adds "It's a clear case of not doing their homework or properly consulting with the residents before they started knocking them down, and pretending they were crumbling Victorian Terraces that had fallen into disrepair.

"Here the rooms are tiny and everything is very basic" she insists "How anyone can be proud of this build and win awards for good design is a joke. We are paying more rent and council tax here plus a service charge we never had to pay before. We have no driveway and the 'garden' is just a glorified sloping back yard. I get really upset when I think what we had and what we have now…"

The SALFORD Low Energy House: Learning From Our Past study concludes…

"We are now in the midst of a decade of rapid change driven by the concerns of climate change and the requirements placed upon the UK by EU legislation. In the 1970s Salford City Council responded locally in a socially just and innovative manner to the urgent needs of their tenants. This led to the development of housing which was decades ahead of its time. Thirty years on it is, once again, urgent necessity that is the driver for EU, national and local action."

For Salford Council tenants in Lower Broughton in 2011, it's too late…

The full report - SALFORD Low Energy House: Learning From Our Past by Dr Philip Brown, Dr Maria E Burke, Gareth Morris and Prof Peter J Webster - can be downloaded by clicking here.

See previous Salford Star report on Salford University's eco house project including the classic quote by another former resident "If those lads at the University can build a 100% replica of what we had I'd take it – we'll get a parade and a band going down the street!" Click here.

See Salford Star's call for a Public Inquiry into the Pathfinder New Broughton project – click here.

 

Val Broadbent wrote
at 14:59:11 on 07 July 2011
There was no justification for removing us from perfectly sound, modern houses into sub-standard ... thrown together ... fault-filled accommodation. This has been backed up 100% by the University's report... No consideration was given to the interior of the new properties. Everything seems to revolve around the exterior and how 'pretty' it looks (but that's only from a distance). Take a closer look and you'll see crumbling front paths, sinking gardens, inadequate main roads, unable to cope with the volume of traffic. No disabled access for visitors in cars in the litter strewn back streets. Residents constantly worrying about the safety of their cars. Theft of and from cars is a regular occurrence in the supposedly secure carparks that replaced our driveways. Paul Walker keeps telling us it's a 'basically sound development' ... Well it would be on paper when you keep reading quotes from Councillor Peter Connor (Lead Member for Housing) telling how we all came from 'Very old, crumbling Victorian properties that had fallen into disrepair' and how our lives have been dramatically improved'. I am still waiting for someone to tell me where these properties were. I wrote to Councillor Connor months ago asking why he keeps quoting these lies. To date I have neither received an acknowledgement of receipt, never mind a reply. But that seems to be par for the course. It's been the same response all the way down the line from every agency. IGNORE IT AND IT WILL GO AWAY. The first houses built (Phase 1) are just one step up from having a coal fire, outside loo and a tin bath hanging on the yard wall compared to what we left. Not much of the £500 million supposedly earmarked for New Broughton was spent on Phase 1. I would welcome Dr Philip Brown, Dr Maria E Burke, Gareth Morris and Prof Peter J Webster to come and visit my present home just to see what 'rubbish' is being built today compared to what was built for us in the 80's when they turfed us out of the homes we had then. It seems 30 years on they were too good for us so sent us back to poverty.. Riches to Rags.
 
Eddie. wrote
at 08:39:42 on 07 July 2011
What can be said about this that has not already been said? It seems like it always falls on deaf ears with the people who make these decisions.... Trouble is, these people are not using their ears, they are using their eyes to add up the £ signs they are making out of the problems they are creating for the people who have to live with their decisions... I'll throw my opinion in for what it's worth, i think it's simply to pack more homes into the area, because these new homes are tiny in comparison to the houses being pulled down, more homes = more tenants = more rent... They are also prefabricated, so building them is faster and cheaper... I was walking down Lower Broughton Road the other day and saw the two-floor maisonette's being demolished, and thought how pathetic it is, because they are no older than the one that i already live in, and they were upgraded only a few years ago... It's a complete disgrace.
 
Harry Toon wrote
at 21:28:02 on 05 July 2011
It is about time the Muppet show at swinetown clown hall resigned .The civic centre could be sold to tesco , as at least then it would serve a useful purpose .
 
Dee wrote
at 21:27:50 on 05 July 2011
From what I have read Ref the 1980's houses... Salford Council appears to have thrown-out the baby with the bathwater ... and replaced it with a cardboard cut-out.
 
S Chappell wrote
at 21:26:57 on 05 July 2011
Salford Council seems to be run by self opinionated people thinking themself to important to listen to the people they are surpose to be working for. Bulldozing those homes without fully researching the area is a disgrace. Shame on you Salford Council.
 
Jeff Goss wrote
at 21:26:00 on 05 July 2011
Why fix something that isn't broken. The behaviour of the council is deplorable. In a just society, these vandals we call "The Council" would be made pay for the damage they'y done. They have made some ill advised decisions, that have obviously been made against the wishes of the people they are supposed to represent. There should be a public investigation into the whole business, asking how the councilors came to some of their conclusions.
 
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