To reduce waste and the need for new building materials, AVAG decided to keep as many of the exisiting structures on the disused site as possible. An existing garage and office block have been renovated in to new buildings and the re-enforced concrete slab that covered the entire site has been built on using lightweight timber frames, reducing the need to excavate and dispose to landfill.
All self builders and self finishers were legally contracted to abide by AVAG's principles of ecological design. This contract included following agreed specifications for environmentally friendly materials.
All properties have solar panels on the roofs. The self finish single storey dwellings are each well insulated with sedum roofs.
The renovated office block won the Regional South West Green Energy Award for 'Best Housing Scheme' in 2009. A sustainable heating infrastructure is in place here which provides heating and hotwater to the whole building powered by wood and the sun. In addition, all single glazed windows were changed to timber/alu high spec double glazing and reduced in size; the walls have been filled with cavity insulation, the whole building has been wrapped in 120mm of external insulation; an extra storey on top of the building built with a glulam timber frame is fully insulated with 350mm of recycled newspaper, 2.4 KWh of solar photovoltaic panels have been installed which generate electricity for the ground floor community space and work units.