Swedish eco firm to build ‘smart’ MK scheme

29 March 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Property management and development firm Places for People has appointed Swedish sustainable housebuilder Trivselhus to build an £18m development of low-energy smart homes in Milton Keynes.

Sommar Place comprises 39 energy-efficient homes on the edge of Places for People’s Brooklands development in Milton Keynes.

It will be Trivselhus’s largest development in the UK so far, although Places for People and the housebuilder are seeking further development opportunities.

All the homes at Sommar Place will feature a “superior level” of insulation and air tightness built into their timber frame walls and promise to offer typical reductions of 40% on heating demands over traditionally built properties.

It is also claimed to be the first full housing development with the Apple Home app, Siri, and Apple HomeKit accessories fitted as standard.

The homes will be fitted with Apple HomeKit accessories

Ken Forster, managing director of Trivselhus, said: “Technology is essential in easing people’s lives, so it is important that moving forward family homes are designed with smart home technology at their fore.

“We’re proud that Sommar Place is leading the way in tech-enabled housing developments that are affordable, efficient and future-proof at a time when technology is developing at pace.”

“In doing so, privacy and security of homeowners is paramount, which is why it was especially important for us to offer the highly secure, end-to-end encrypted Apple HomeKit accessories within Sommar Place, which we believe to be a first in the UK.”

David Cowans, group chief executive at Places for People, which manages more than 195,000 homes across the country, added: “Sommar Place is a truly forward-thinking project, delivering the very best in Swedish energy-efficient design, combined with the latest in smart home technology – effectively future-proofing these homes for years to come.”

Trivselhus, which has been building homes in its factories for more than 20 years, is owned by the ethical forestry industries group Södra.


A great, bold step for Places for People. The benefits for the tenant/owner will be seen in better quality housing, efficient running costs and aesthetically pleasing design. It is a shame that the major house builders are slow to pick up on this way of building. With greater emphasis nowadays on change in traditional construction, these kinds of development will be a beacon for others to follow. I look forward to seeing how this project progresses.

Nick Parry, 29 March 2018

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