Milestone for five-storey ‘extra care’ Exeter apartment complex that’s a UK-first

The UK’s first-ever super-energy-efficient ‘extra care’ apartment complex is on course to open in Exeter late this year – after reaching a construction milestone.

Workers have ‘topped-out’ the five-storey, 53-apartment building, off Topsham Road – which will be known as Edwards Court – and completed the main structure.

It has been carefully designed to meet the needs of elderly residents and dementia sufferers and is expected to be ready for occupation in December.

The self-contained dwellings, exclusively for over-55s, will have on-site care and support.

There will also be lounges, dining rooms, hobby spaces, a library, a salon and spa treatment room.
Landscaped gardens will surround the building.

Edwards Court will be the first Passivhaus-standard facility of its kind on the country.

The facility’s internal environment will provide unique heat, air and water features for ‘optimum comfort’.

Utilising key weather data from the University of Exeter up to 2080, the building has been designed to adapt to changing weather climates – from rising temperatures to storms.

Councillors toured the building while attending a ceremony to marks the high point of the building being reached during construction.

Exeter City Council leader Phil Bialyk said: “We’ve reached a key milestone in the construction of this amazing building.

“Exeter is committed to becoming a net-zero carbon city by 2030 and the council is leading by example, constructing both new council housing and other developments to super-energy-efficient standards.”

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for adult care and health, added: “We would all rather be able to stay living in our own homes as our health deteriorates.

“Extra care housing like this, alongside personal care delivered in the community, is giving people that opportunity to receive the care they need while remaining as independent as possible in their own home.

“This is the first extra care scheme for us in the city, but follows great success in towns including Totnes, Newton Abbot, Okehampton, Ivybridge and Bideford.”

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk (third from right) and Cllr Laura Wright (second right) with Kier staff and local schoolchildren.

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk (third from right) and Cllr Laura Wright (second right) with Kier staff and local schoolchildren.

Cllr Laura Wright, lead for city council housing development and services, said: “It is a fantastic building, constructed to the very highest standards, which will support elderly residents with care needs in our city.”

The city and county councils are working together to select a housing care provider for the socially-rented accommodation.

Both authorities will be able to refer applicants for the offer of a tenancy when they become available.
Work started on the development at the end of 2018.

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