A vicarage in London is hoping to be the greenest building of its kind. It was built alongside a church hall as part of an agreement that freed up a large area of vicarage land for affordable homes in a complex comprising eight four-bedroom houses and 12 flats.

The new home of the Rev Francis Adu-Boachie, vicar of St John’s, Wembley, includes a PV roof and a ground source heat pump. The loft is insulated to a thickness of 400mm and the cavity-filled walls are 435mm thick– including 160mm of high performance insulation.

Architects Calford Seaden designed the building, working closely with social housing provider LHA-ASRA and main contractors Galliford Try. William Cornall, group director of development and assets with LHA-ASRA, said: “Identifying good quality sites for much needed affordable housing is always a real challenge in London. However, by working creatively, with a range of partners, this development clearly demonstrates what can be achieved, even in these times of constrained government funding. This development will be a fantastic asset for our business and the people of Brent more generally”.

The vicarage achieves level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes and is believed to be the first vicarage in Britain to achieve such a high standard. Architect Chris Rainsford commented: “The building can essentially be self sufficient in energy and heating, although obviously mains power services are connected for back-up purposes. In normal circumstances, with normal usage, the building generates its own electricity with enough left over to feed into the national grid. At night, when photo voltaic panels don’t work, they take electricity back from the grid for heating and lighting.”

The Grade II listed St John’s church is an early design by the renowned Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. It was built in 1846 and remains unaltered.

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