Kent architecture

Sustainable and energy efficient lifestyle offered to Kent retirement community

Orchard Yard, a new retirement community in the picturesque Kent village of Wingham, offers sustainable living and energy-efficient homes for retirees who want to live independently in their own homes. The spacious new properties are built in part from salvaged and repurposed materials, have smart design features built in to help lower energy bills, and the convenient location makes it easy for residents to live without a car, although each home has an electrical installation. vehicle charging.

The timing couldn’t be better as energy prices are soaring and more than three in five people over the age of 65 – or 7.8 million seniors – say they are concerned about heating costs this winter (Age UK, January 2022); with 74% ready to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle to help reduce climate change (King’s College London, September 2021).

The nine homes and six apartments in Orchard Yard all exceed current energy efficiency regulations and feature low-energy appliances, heat recovery, LED lighting and heating. double glazing. They all have at least a ‘B’ energy efficiency rating (88/100), which compares favorably to the UK national average of D, allowing residents to use less energy than in their previous home.

Architect Joe Murray, of Kent Design Studio, who designed the estate, says: “The houses have been designed to have a low carbon footprint thanks to very high levels of insulation, low water consumption, carefully designed and intelligent controls to help regulate heating.

“Everything at Orchard Yard has been built with sustainability in mind from the start. We have carefully chosen sustainably sourced building materials, such as reclaimed Welsh natural slate tiles and larch, to minimize the impact Some of the elements of the original site were also reused, in particular the former Goose Barn which was incorporated into the design and converted into what is now the Clubhouse.

Anne Maddison, Director of Sales at Orchard Yard, says: “Living at Orchard Yard allows retirees to naturally adopt a more sustainable and energy-efficient lifestyle, without sacrificing the comforts they are used to enjoying. For example, you don’t need to drive when you live in Orchard Yard as it is located in the heart of Wingham village and all local amenities such as doctor, dentist, supermarket and bakery are accessible walk.

“Designing homes means you take steps to be more energy efficient without thinking about it.

“There are also eco-friendly transport options with a good bus service and a nearby bus stop where owners can hop on a bus and be in central Canterbury in under 20 minutes; there are good rail links to London and the rest of the country, and each house has its own charging station for electric vehicles.

“Reducing your carbon footprint at Orchard Yard is easy,” says Anne. “The farm shop in Wingham sells produce grown locally in the area. There are rain catchers and compost bins on the estate, and we have full vegetable gardens with a greenhouse and facilities so residents can also grow their own produce on site.

A large part of the site is devoted to a park favoring fauna and biodiversity, faithful to its agricultural history, laid out in the old farmyard of a neighboring manor. The gardens include a wildflower meadow, mature trees, a newly created orchard and a conservatory with plenty of places to sit and enjoy nature. A solid oak table in the orchard is the perfect place to complete the crossword with an aperitif.

Residents can choose from both houses and apartments in Orchard Yard, all designed to be discreetly future-proof, with walk-in showers; level access; wide and well-lit stairs, and even the possibility of installing a lift later if necessary. With two or three bedrooms, they have a flexible living space and offer plenty of space to comfortably enjoy your leisure activities and receive family and friends.

Cognatum Estates, a non-profit organization with over 40 years of experience, manages the estate, provides an on-site estate manager, and handles all grounds and exterior maintenance. Owners benefit from the ability to “close and go”, to leave at short notice without worrying while they are away, as the property manager will be there to keep an eye on their property. There is also an emergency alarm service and one hour of domestic help is provided weekly to each household. If further support is needed, the property manager can contact a selection of care agencies, all of which have a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC rating.

Residents of Orchard Yard can enjoy the Clubhouse, a perfect social space with an included gym that opens to a deck with a communal BBQ. There is a guest suite exclusively for the use of family and friends.

The two-bedroom ‘Vivin’ penthouse show apartment is available for showings, as well as tours of the estate. Prices start from £565,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and properties are being sold on a leasehold basis with no ground rent. At the time of subsequent resale, a 1.2% (VAT included) will be charged. By February 2022, more than 50% of the properties had been sold.