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Our new homes in Cambridge: making sustainability the new norm

Posted on 23rd July 2019

At Athena, we believe that housing is not just about creating convenient, contemporary and flexible living spaces. Homes should also have a responsibility to its local environment, and benefit the people both today and well into the future.
That’s why at every stage of their concept, design and construction, Athena and its surrounding community of Eddington in Cambridge, have embraced an ethos of simple and smart sustainability for a new level of sustainable living.
As such, our new homes in Cambridge feature water and energy-efficient kitchen and bathroom appliances, such as aerated showerheads and taps, and A-rated kitchen appliances, to keep electricity and water consumption low. But our commitment to sustainability goes much further.

Here are five key features that show how sustainable living is seamlessly integrate into Athena and Eddington’s for lighter living with reduced environmental impact.

Photovoltaic solar panels & smart meters
A signature element of Athena homes is the presence of photovoltaic solar panels. These panels convert sunlight into electricity to power your home by generating green electricity. Or, in more scientific terms, they convert photons into voltage – hence the name ‘photovoltaic’. As your new Cambridge home is powered by free sunlight rather than by the national grid, you will benefit from reductions of your electricity bill.
Our sustainable homes also feature smart meters as a standard, giving you close control over your energy consumption, meaning there are no unwelcome surprises when opening your electricity bill.

Green roof 
Sharing space with the photovoltaic solar cells on a number of our new homes in Cambridge will be green roof systems, which provide a number of environmental benefits to both homeowner and the local environment through positive impacts on sustainability and biodiversity.
Primary among these is the absorption of rain by the sedum plants and soil, which allows for higher water retention during rainy days and slows the rainwater’s flow on its journey to Brook Leys.
Green roofs benefit its surrounding environment by absorbing greenhouse gases as well as air and dust pollution. In addition to improving the surrounding air quality, they also provide a habitat for animals and plants.

UK’s largest rainwater recycling system
The opening of Brook Leys in 2017, with its green parkland, cycling pathways and beautiful lake, not only provides a scenic retreat for residents of our new Cambridge apartments and houses, it is central to Eddington’s rainwater recycling system.
Holding up to six million litres of water, Brook Leys acts as a Sustainable Urban Drainage System that filters rainwater, which is then treated and used for non-drinking purposes such as watering gardens, flushing toilets and for use in washing machines.

Our new Cambridge apartments and houses benefit from this as the reduction in water usage should be dramatic. Compared to an average Cambridge household, which uses 150 litres of water a day, Athena and Eddington residents will use around 80 litres a day. An impressive result that helps maximise the use of natural resources whilst minimising your water bills.
Triple glazing & insulation
All our new homes in at Athena, Cambridge are built to Sustainable Homes Code Level 5 and Lifetime Homes Standards, which means they are constructed with high-level of insulation and triple-glazed windows. In addition to delivering significant environmental benefits, this keeps rooms warm during the cold weather and ensures heating bills are kept to a minimum. The triple glazing also acts as soundproofing, transforming your home into a haven of peace and tranquillity.

The ‘iceberg’ recycling system
Eddington is home to the UK’s largest underground waste disposal system – a so-called ‘iceberg’ waste and recycling system, because only a small proportion of it appears above the surface.
Eddington will eventually house approximately 450 stainless steel disposal units, meaning there are no unsightly wheelie bins to clog up the community’s pathways.
The system, which store recycled materials and general waste in underground containers, have sensors, therefore when they are 80 percent full, a signal is sent to the collection company to alert them that the underground container waste needs emptying.
This ‘iceberg’ recycling system highlights Eddington’s dedication to sustainable living and will have a big impact on Cambridge’s attempt to reach the EU’s goal of 50 percent of waste being recycled by 2020.

Sustainable living: the new normal
From high level of insulation to iceberg recycling systems, photovoltaic solar cells to smart meters, our new homes in Cambridge have sustainability woven into their fabric.
So not only does Athena provide stunning, contemporary environments for people to live in, they help protect the environment in smart, simple ways that means, with Athena, convenient and uncomplicated sustainable living is the new normal.

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