Much Wenlock

Drawing on local vernacular this affordable housing scheme built to Passivhaus standards aims to provide a model for rural developments in the West Midlands.

About this project

Located on a greenfield site in Callaughtons Ash, Much Wenlock, the development provides 12 one, two and three-bedroom homes, of which two are shared ownership and 10 for social rent.

Fuel poverty was a main concern for the client, a housing association. As a result, the homes were designed following Passivhaus principles which can minimise operational costs to around £100 per year for the average house.

The houses are arranged around a central shared public green space for use by the new community. Through collaboration with local groups, native tree species and wildflower meadows planting form a central part of the development.

Local vernacular for a circular economy

Investigating the local vernaculars of Shropshire, the development aims to sit comfortably in its rural surroundings, complimented by a natural palette of UK sourced materials. This includes clay roof tiles that have been quarried and made within 25 miles of the site, lime render provided by a local supplier and UK grown thermally modified hardwood cladding, promoting the Housing Associations aims for a cohesive circular economy in Shropshire.

A participatory approach

Design process began in 2015, with representatives sitting on a project board to help decide location, layout and type of construction. With the guidance of SSHA’s community led building consultancy, Marches Community Land Trust Services (CLTs), and adhering to the Much Wenlock Community Plan, representatives learned about construction methods, decided on landscaping and visited the local timber frame manufacturer to see the house frames in construction.

Children from Much Wenlock Primary School have also been involved by taking part in a site safety poster competition and making a visit to the site to learn about Passivhaus principles.

Technical data

Type Of Project: Affordable Housing

Project Value: £2m

Start on site: April 2017. Completion: July 2018.

Gross internal floor area: 3 x 3 bed @84m2, 7 x 2 bed @ 74m2, 2 x 1 bed @ 50m2

Construction type: Timber frame new build

Air tightness levels: ≤0.6ach @50pascals

Predicted energy demands: heating demand 15kWh/m2.a, primary energy demand 120kWh/m2.a

Further information

Images: SouthShropshireHousingAssocication, Brimstone

Architects Journal

Key contacts

Client

South Shropshire Housing Association

Architect

Architype

Main contractor

SJ Roberts Construction

Structural Engineer

Thomas Consulting

Quantity Surveyors

WP Housing

Timber Supplier

Vastern Timber (cladding)

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