Home » Newcastle homes Amethyst’s first for timber frame

Newcastle homes Amethyst’s first for timber frame

by Mark Cantrell
Amethyst Homes is working on its second development in Newcastle city centre, following the success of its previous scheme located at Northbourne Street, for Home Group, five years ago.

Amethyst Homes is working on its second development in Newcastle city centre, following the success of its previous scheme located at Northbourne Street, for Home Group, five years ago.

The joint development, in partnership with Bellway, will create 124 new homes, 45 built by Amethyst, comprising two-, three- and four-bedroomed houses.

The project has been facilitated by Tynexe, a joint venture company comprising Newcastle City Council and Consett-based Dysart Developments, which carried out the necessary reclamation works to prepare the land for development.

Richard Bass, managing director at Amethyst Homes, said: “This is an exciting development for Amethyst, located just off Westmorland Road in the heart of Newcastle’s West end.

“We are confident that this site will help address local housing need and will prove popular, due to its location and the variety of homes on offer. It is rewarding to see work finally starting on site, as it has taken a true partnership approach to unlock this brownfield land.”

The properties at Amethyst Homes’ Vallum Heights will be built using modern methods of construction, with the use of timber frame, which is a first for Amethyst.

Working in partnership with Aberdeen-based, Kirkwood Timber Frame, this method of construction will enable each home’s structural frame to be erected on site within a day. In addition, benefits to the buyer include highly efficient insulation – in line with latest industry Building Regulations – and cost savings on energy bills.

Andy Lewis, business development manager at Kirkwood Timber Frame, said: “It is great to help Amethyst Homes deliver its first timber frame properties. The benefits are far reaching for the developer and the home buyer.

“By using timber frame a housebuilder can reduce its carbon footprint by up to 40% and it offers efficiencies during the construction process. For the homebuyer, timber frame offers a greater level of insulation. Timber is a natural thermal insulator stores and offers low energy consumption, which in turn saves homeowners money on their bills.

“Scotland are leading the way in timber frame construction with over 90% of all new homes using this build method, far less in England with just 23% across the UK overall. It is great to see Amethyst embrace this technology, which we know is growing in popularity in the region.”

The timber frame panels are made in Kirkwood’s state of the art manufacturing facility using the latest machinery in a semi-automated process. This means that external and internal walls are made to precision, reducing time and labour required on site. Whole houses are delivered to the site where a crane lifts the panels, floor and roof into place usually within a single day, allowing following on trades to complete the build in double quick time.

Sixty eight homes on the joint 12-acre site will be fitted with solar panels to generate renewable energy and further reduce carbon emissions.

As part of the regeneration of the area over 25 jobs will be safeguarded and a new homes sales executive recruited.

Through the lifetime of the project there will be investment in training and employment, parks and recreation and local community initiatives, which will include allotments and open space developed at the south of the site, next to Wolsingham Street. Among the new trees and shrubs will be butterfly bank features to encourage biodiversity in the area.

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