news from BRE

published: 22/8/2012

Santiago House comes to the BRE Innovation Park

‘Tomorrow’s townhouse’ winner of the British Homes Awards 2011 joins the exemplar low carbon demonstration community.

The BRE Innovation Park, home to some of the world’s most sustainable buildings and technologies, today sees the arrival of the Santiago House, winner of the 2011 British Homes Awards. The innovative, modular home designed by Alex & Edward: Architects and constructed by FutureForm is the latest addition to the park which acts as a test bed for innovation in sustainable building.

Designed to comply with Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Lifetime Homes standard, the aim of the house is to create a flexible family environment to accommodate the changing needs of inhabitants. Based on a classic Georgian terraced townhouse, the design links to communal outside space and resources to support a sustainable community.

Constructed from six modular units made of light gauge steel with ceramic-faced cladding to reduce maintenance, other sustainable features of the Santiago House include:

  • An air-to-water heat pump
  • Evacuated tube solar collectors and solar PV panels
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Argon filled, double glazed, 80 percent recycled aluminium windows
  • Water saving devices
  • Electric vehicle charging point

The design also allows for lift access to each floor level to be installed at a later date, with minimum alteration required.

“The buildings and technologies on the Innovation Park will continue to be updated, refurbished, added to or replaced, keeping them at the cutting edge of innovative sustainability,” explained Jaya Skandamoorthy, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at BRE. “The Santiago House is a welcome addition to the park, showcasing a modern concept of adaptable, sustainable living for future communities.”

The Santiago House is due to open on the BRE Innovation Park in October 2012. For more information, contact Keri Jordan on 01923 664322, email

Notes to editors

The BRE Innovation Park was launched in 2005 with the aim of trialling and testing the pioneering ideas of architects, developers and manufacturers before applying them to real communities. With a range of unique and diverse approaches to sustainable design, construction and refurbishment, the park’s aim has been to push the boundaries of current knowledge and practice; to educate stakeholders, form new collaborations and ultimately drive change across the built environment.

To date, over 60,000 people have visited the park including the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron and the Vice Premier of China, Li-Keqiang. The BRE Innovation Park model is currently being replicated in countries around the world including China, Brazil, Canada and the United States, providing an essential bridge between countries to exchange knowledge and enable collaboration.