Nottingham Trent Basin: A New Kind of Sustainable Neighbourhood

Written by Kamaldeep Matharoo, Innovate UK

Sustainable development is more than just a buzzword. Finding greener solutions to the way we build, develop and live in our cities is vital for a future of growth and prosperity.

The Nottingham Trent Basin housing development is one such project that’s leading the way in low carbon living and community engagement. Developed by the Project SCENe scheme (Sustainable Community Energy Networks), this project could be the future of energy in our homes.

Funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, a government agency championing science and innovation projects in the UK, this development could change the way we generate and use energy in our homes.

Generating Energy Differently

The key idea behind the Nottingham Trent Basin housing project was to develop a new type of high quality, low energy housing which inhabitants would be proud to call home.

Powered by Europe’s largest communal battery, the development is a community project. Energy generated from the battery is shared between the homes and any excess is sold back to the grid and the profits are distributed among the community. By connecting residents, the scheme hopes to make generating electricity a neighbourhood issue.

Additional power is provided through sustainable solutions such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps.

By making energy production greener, more efficient and even more affordable, the designers of the scheme are hoping to revolutionise housing developments across the UK.

New Ways of Living

The first inhabitants moved into the river side homes in 2016 and subsequent developments are currently underway. The project aims to develop around 500 low energy homes in the area.

It’s not just the communal battery drawing in residents. The modern spaces are finely tuned to make living in today’s world easier and more efficient. Use of IoT (Internet of things) technology within the homes to connect devices and monitor energy use spells a greener way of living.

The idea is that with residents taking ownership of their energy use, we can all make better informed, sustainable decisions.

The development is also located within easy reach of shopping areas and public transport, making it an attractive prospect for potential residents.

Achieving Recognition and Acclaim

In 2018, the project won ‘Sustainable Development of the Year’ at the East Midlands Bricks Awards.

This new model of energy scheme connects potential home buyers, academics and energy companies to create a president for the future. This has the potential to be scaled up using the Nottingham Trent Basin business model to develop large housing developments throughout the country.

Spearheading Research and Innovation

By addressing research and policy gaps in the production of renewable energy, the plan is to make greener energy technologies mainstream.

With the energy we use to power our homes making up around a third of UK emissions, the search for greener solutions is pressing.

Students of the University of Nottingham are helping to visualise the data through new software with the aim of educating stakeholders, homeowners and the public. This information will be available to view in the community hub at the development.

Funding and Support

The government has been funding projects such as this as part of the clean growth initiative. Innovate UK is dedicated to supporting innovations in science and technology that will benefit the growth of clean energy in the UK.

Subscribe to the Innovate UK YouTube channel to find out about the other innovative projects they’ve helped fund, support and connect to build sustainable growth.