Built around the unique and historical china clay landscape of St Austell, enjoying far reaching views of the Cornish coast, the new development at West Carclaze promises to be unique in more ways than one.

We take a look at this exciting project and discover how MiTek is helping zero carbon homes become a reality.

Just a stone’s throw from the world-renowned Eden Project, West Carclaze Garden Village is a 21st century lakeside community based on the best of traditional values.

Cam3_k_orng_02 (1)

The 500-acre site is one of the first new garden villages to be built in a generation, and when finished, will comprise not only 1,500 sustainable new homes, but also allotments, hedgerows, orchards and landscaping. 350 acres will be set aside for a managed country park – helping residents connect with nature while having access to great nearby amenities and infrastructure.

West Carclaze is destined to be different, and this includes all aspects of the design and build. Every home will be at the leading edge of energy efficiency and sustainability, with clever but discreet under-the-skin technology, generating power and managing the temperature and air quality, enabling residents to enjoy a ‘greener’ way of life without sacrificing comfort or cost.

Once complete, by 2050, the whole project will be carbon net zero. Every home will be fitted with solar panels, with clever battery energy storage facilities. All the homes are being designed to maximise the opportunities for high energy efficiency, with the application of new technologies and innovative materials. The development will be one of the first carbon net zero projects to be completed in the UK.

A “fabric first” approach means this scheme has been designed to minimise the need for heating and cooling, reducing heat loss and insulating beyond industry standards, which is where MiTek’s Posi-joist technology comes into its own.

Lightweight and easy to install, Posi-joists – being used in every home in the Village – enable mechanical heat and ventilation systems and services to pass freely through the floor platforms. This not only makes service installation easier, it also makes for straightforward maintenance in future years.

“More and more new-build homes are using newer mechanical heat and ventilation system technology, and we’re seeing increasing demand for Posi-joists, which offer great versatility and quality,” said Jimmy Close, development director, MiTek UK & Ireland.

“Our Posi-Joist and roof truss systems feature in every home, and we’re incredibly proud to be a part of this net zero homes solution. We worked in partnership with the projects timber frame contractor Frame Homes to help design the project, using our PAMIR software to design the floor and roof trusses, and Wood Engine for the timber frame design.”

Tom Dodd Frame Homes

Tom Dodd

The government is committed to making the UK net zero by 2050. “It’s something everyone has to take seriously, and solutions like Posi-Joist are helping the industry make progressive steps,” notes Close.

All the homes are being constructed using a hybrid timber frame system design, says the company’s development manager, Tom Dodd.

“The products and support supplied by MiTek has been invaluable. It’s not just the design support, but also being able to use new Posi-10+ web on the project that’s made a huge difference, allowing us to be more economical with design and use of the metal webs,” he says.

“We’re able to reduce steel web use on each individual joist by 30% to 40% meaning a lower carbon footprint all round.

“Using MiTek’s PAMIR software has also helped us come up with the best design and engineering approach for the project, and their in-house experts have worked alongside us to help with the plans. It’s a great partnership.”

Dodd adds: “Using Posi-joist in the floor platforms at West Carclaze is really the only option in their ease of running services, including mechanical ventilation systems, which is essential for this project.”

West Carclaze Village facts at a glance

The project is the mastermind of ECO-BOS – a partnership between Orascom and Imerys.

  • Frame Homes uses highly sustainable timber frame construction, and makes use of its latest technology in the form of new hybrid insulation panel
  • Built using Posi-Joist the timber frames are being constructed off site under quality-controlled conditions, guaranteeing high-quality installation-ready products
  • Homes will be EPC ‘A’ rated – and exceed standards for air tightness and insulation. Average new build homes tend to be B rated while existing homes are usually D rated
  • From the start of the project, a local 7.5MW solar farm has been generating clean energy equivalent to over 1,100 of the homes being built per year – going a significant way to off-setting the impact that creating the village has in the short term.
  • By 2122, the 500,000 trees planted as part of the scheme will be maturing into the greatest legacy of all, saving 9,000 tonnes more carbon per year than is being used in the construction phases. By 2122 1.1m tons of carbon will be saved.