The project was planned to high design, health and environmental standards. Since its completion in 2004 it has been used as a benchmark for sustainable design at a national level. The occupants are the development’s greatest advocates – they have comfortable and healthy homes and very low fuel bills.
Use of Timber
Gale & Snowden Architects’ timber Twin Frame system has enabled super insulated airtight walls and roof panels which eliminate thermal bridging and use readily available, low embodied energy, local materials.
Creating a healthy building has been a key consideration of the design. This has been achieved by using non VOC materials and the use of PVC has been avoided through careful selection including timber cladding and timber windows. Dust mite habitats have been limited through hard floor surfaces such as timber and slate.
Another key element to the design is energy saving and an array of features have been specified. These include:
These energy efficiency measures have resulted in the homes being very comfortable to live in with little variation in internal temperature and very low fuel bills ensuring that all tenants can achieve affordable warmth.
The attention to detail didn’t stop at the interior. The low maintenance external landscaping features a wildlife corridor and wind shelter belt is designed into the site layout to reduce wind chill onto buildings and gardens. There are south facing productive (food) gardens with access direct from lounges, minimisation of hard surfaces, SUDS design with attenuation meadow and porous surfaces.
The development has received numerous national and local awards both for its environmental credentials and its creation of uplifting places for people to live. The development has also been featured in the recent RIBA book ‘Sustainable Architecture’ which also features other Gale & Snowden designed projects.