Media Release: AIMC4 wins top award for low-carbon homes

THE AIMC4 Consortium has won the Housebuilder award for Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative after impressing judges with the delivery of its groundbreaking £6.4m project.

The consortium was founded in 2009 to research, develop and deliver affordable, desirable and energy efficient homes, which meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 energy requirements using a fabric-first approach.

Supported by the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board, the consortium members comprise key players in the industry – developers, Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson PLC and Barratt Developments PLC who are responsible for the design and build of the world-class energy efficient homes, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) advising on innovative solutions and evaluating the technical issues and H+H UK Ltd an innovative supplier of Aircrete concrete products.

BRE Scotland will analyse and evaluate both the performance of the homes and the occupants behaviours once the homes have been sold and are occupied.

The awards, which recognise and reward excellence and innovation throughout the housebuilding disciplines, were presented by Housebuilder magazine in association with NHBC and the Home Builders Federation.

Stewart Dalgarno, of Stewart Milne Group, who received the award, alongside his consortium colleagues, said: “The country has ambitious targets for a zero carbon future and we are keen to ensure we can meet the carbon agenda as well as build homes that are affordable and that people want to live in. By working as a consortium and sharing our outcomes and learnings, we have been able to push the boundaries of sustainable building and we are extremely proud that this has been recognised by the judges.”

In total, 17 AIMC4 homes have been built at five sites across the UK. After all of the homes are sold, the consortium will undertake full post occupancy research with new homeowners, which will provide a greater understanding of how the homes perform and how the occupiers react and adapt to the technologies. The results will provide evidence to help achieve the Government targets, as well as determine which products work best to meet the demanding energy efficiency standards that confront the whole industry.

To find out more about the AIMC4 initiative, please visit


Notes to editors:

AIMC4 is a £6.4m project, with £3.2m investment from the consortium partners, matched with £3.2m from the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The consortium comprises five members: developers, Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson Plc and Barratt Developments Plc, plus H+H UK Ltd; and the BRE.

Stewart Milne Group completed eight, low-energy low carbon homes at Prestonpans, East Lothian, Portlethen in Aberdeenshire, and Preston, Lancashire. The housebuilder also developed a new innovative build system, providing a robust solution to achieve high levels of fabric performance delivering a more affordable, reliable system that takes into consideration the assessment of whole life-cycle costing, risk and home owner impact. It achieves superior levels of fabric performance, seeking to achieve Level 4 and upwards energy performance, within the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Crest Nicholson delivered five exemplar homes at its Noble Park development in Epsom. All five homes, located in a conservation area surrounded by green space and park land, meet all elements of the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 (Energy) and comply with Lifetime Homes. The 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.

Barratt Developments completed four AIMC4 units in Corby that include highly insulated cavity walls, ground floors and roofs. This is complemented by high efficiency combination boilers with flue gas heat recovery built in; heat recovery is also being employed via shower waste water. Low-energy lighting and high specification triple glazing also ensures any energy used in the house is utilised with maximum efficiency.

H+H contributed as suppliers of aircrete blocks, an eco friendly and sustainable building material, to both Barratt Homes and Crest Nicholson and used their technical expertise to support the project.

BRE’s expertise in energy efficiency and sustainability, including SAP, helped to identify the best-performing products, solutions and techniques for the project. BRE’s CLIP (Construction Lean Improvement Programme) identified construction efficiencies for building these pioneering homes, while its CALIBre performance measurement tool helped to quantify ‘waste’ in on-site man-hours.

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit

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