Design

The design of this scheme started with the concept of a secret garden hidden within the walls of a small intimate courtyard and glimpsed from the street. This has resulted in a stepped u-shaped form which also addresses the rights to light for to the adjacent residential block. We have created 8 flats: 4 no 1 bed and 4 no 2 bed, all of which are designed Lifetime home standards.

Innovation

We are interested in the ways that social innovation can create better ways of providing support in ageing societies. This includes new ways that old people can remain active, how new environments can improve everyday life and new ways of mobilizing trusted networks to provide support of all kinds. Our design provides a framework for this by creating communal space that can be used by all ages, but particularly by older people, and encourages the building of friendships and neighbourliness.

The raised allotment beds and potting shed encourage residents involvement and help engender a sense of pride. Each apartment has it’s own outdoor space where residents can create their own small garden, whether at ground floor or on a terrace.

Sustainability

We aim to build energy efficient, sustainable housing that is practical, appealing and comfortable for the tenant, while being easy and affordable for the house builder.

By combining a well insulated, air tight design with the integration of low temperature heat pumps, this housing project will provide versatility and energy efficiency to reduce fuel costs for tenants, while delivering more sustainable homes. To achieve the Code 4 Level homes, the predicted CO2 emissions will achieve the target 44% C02 reduction.

The heating and hot water will be provided by an air source heat pump up that will deliver water flow temp to 55°C with the heating provided through an underfloor heating system. The heat pump is a sealed outdoor unit with power and hydraulic connections and the indoor unit will have a separate cylinder with back up heater for peace of mind and independence.

Solar shading screens (also providing privacy between tenants) is integrated on the primary large living room windows to limit summer overheating. The heat recovery system will provide secure night ventilation and will ensure stale air is extracted from kitchen and bathrooms and is passed through a heat recovery unit before being expelled. Fresh pre-heated air is also fed into all living areas and bedrooms.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can be secured to the flat roofs on stand alone arrays. An underground rainwater storage tank can be integrated to combine with grey-water recycling for WC flushing and ground irrigation. Triple glazed windows with draught resistant seals allow large window openings and better daylight. The high level of insulation combined with good air-tightness and minimal cold bridges ensure heat loss during the winter is minimised. Smart metering to all flats would provide real time digital display of energy use in the home.