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UK’s first Passivhaus Extra Care Scheme opens in Exeter

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The UK’s first super energy-efficient Extra Care scheme has opened in Exeter, with a number of residents already settling in to the state-of-the-art facility.

Edwards Court is a 53-flat (one and two bedrooms) scheme built by Exeter City Council, working closely with us at Devon County Council and Radis Community Care. The scheme combines accommodation with care and support services for people aged 55 and over.

The building is named after former City Council Leader Pete Edwards. The scheme includes communal facilities and services, such as a lounge, dining area and garden, well-being suite, roof terrace and emergency alarms throughout the scheme.

Extra care gives residents the opportunity to live independently whilst having an in-house care provider on site and 24 hour staffing for any emergencies.

Residents will be able to take advantage of a two-course hot meal offered every day and a variety of activities them make new friends and reduce any concerns of feeling isolated.

Edwards Court is the first Extra Care facility in the Exeter area and the first one in the UK to be built and certified to Passivhaus standards.

This means it is super insulated and has a heat recovery system that means the energy required to heat the building will be reduced by up to 90%, saving on fuel costs.

Edwards Court has also been built paying close attention to the products and finishes used to eliminate anything harmful being put into the building.

It is also climate resilient based on Met Office modelling and will not overheat going forward.

Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk said he was delighted with the completed scheme.

“It is unusual for a district council to build an Extra Care Scheme, however, we are not a typical council and when presented with the evidence of housing need we were really excited to work in partnership to bring this scheme together,” he said.

“We have always aspired to deliver a housing offer to local residents that met their needs at all times in their lives.”

Extra Care housing is a central plank in our social care strategy for supporting older and vulnerable adults, as increasingly more people are receiving health and social care in their own homes.

Councillor James McInnes, our Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult social care, said:

“Extra care housing provides residents with purpose-built homes and the flexibility and independence to live well, while also having around the clock access to care should they need it.

“We’re delighted to be working with the City Council and the care provider on this exciting new scheme.”

Paula Hogarth, Radis’ Group Operations Director, said:

“We are delighted to expand our services to deliver care and support in Exeter. The 24/7 onsite care and support service for clients will be tailored on a 1-1 basis helping with daily tasks including meal preparation, washing, dressing, shopping and getting out into the community.

“This service will be delivered cohesively alongside our health and wellbeing advice service providing health checks and ongoing support with all health needs. We are so proud of the work we are doing and we look forward to supporting more people live independently alongside Exeter City Council and Devon County Council.”