Building a greener future with the UK’s first virtually plastic free homes

Published on 11 August 2022

Work is completing on a ground-breaking project in Redditch to build the first virtually plastic free homes in Europe and the UK. Owned and built by GreenSquareAccord the revolutionary development is providing 12 affordable homes built using carefully sourced plastic free alternatives as an example of what can be achieved to reduce environmental impact.

The development is the first of its kind in Europe and is transforming the site of a former factory carpark in Redditch, into one bedroom apartments for local people which will be managed by Redditch Cooperative Homes.

Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Business at GreenSquareAccord said: “We have reimagined what it takes to build a home by removing virtually all the plastic elements from the building replacing and them with non-plastic materials. Although challenging, this project demonstrates what is possible and sets a new threshold in the sector for sustainable building. Our aim is for this project to influence others to embrace our approach and remove the plastic elements from their builds, helping to create a more sustainable building sector.”

The new homes have been constructed using timber panels from GreenSquareAccord’s award winning, low carbon manufacturing facility, LoCaL Homes. Each apartment features high end finishes, with plastic free alternatives installed such as wooden kitchen units and aluminium window frames, wiring using a mineral based insulation rather than the usual plastic, and solar thermal heating systems which will provide low running costs and help to prevent fuel poverty.

David Trevitt who will be moving into one of the new homes said: “I can’t wait to move in and have my own space – the peace and independence this will bring will make a massive difference to my life. As I have disabilities, this place is perfectly suited to me as it is on the ground floor and is close to town and the shops. I can appreciate that the apartment is plastic free and I’m looking forward to the benefits of lower fuel bills.”

Customer David with the keys to his new home.

The project is the result of collaborative working with Redditch Borough Council and is part of the CHARM (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) partnership, made up of representatives from four European countries: the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Councillor Emma Marshall said: “As we regenerate Redditch, it’s really important that we look towards the environment, and this unique housing scheme fits in perfectly with our green thread. It’s impressive to see how this outstanding project can deliver the best homes for people in Redditch no matter what stage they are at in their lives.”

The €1.6m project received €967k EU funding from the Interreg North West Europe funding partnership, allowing GreenSquareAccord to research the reduction and removal of plastic in a real world large scale project; paving the way for a future of plastic free construction.