Our design plans
The Passivhaus sustainability model
Combining small units into larger blocks is a classic Passivhaus strategy to reduce the external heat loss area, and so reduce the energy needed for heating.
The proposed construction is common for Passivhaus buildings – a lightweight timber frame with deep timbers holds thick insulation around the external walls and the roof. The floor is a concrete slab but resting on and wrapped round by a thick layer of load-bearing insulation. This joins up with the wall insulation to form a full wrap of thick insulation around the building.
Windows are triple glazed and airtight, but are open-able – you can always open the windows in a Passivhaus if you want.
Heating and electricity
The limited space heating required for the buildings will be provided by direct electric heating. The smart Microgrid will use an innovative approach to meet the very low heating demands of the dwellings in an efficient manner, and also provide for the storage of surplus solar generation which can be used at times of low generation.
Each maisonette will have its own independent ventilation system. This will use an efficient, quiet, Passivhaus certified heat recovery unit. Fresh air will be supplied to living rooms and bedrooms, and stale air extracted from kitchens and bathrooms.
From the outset, the landscape design has been shaped by extensive consultation, which has established the philosophy and needs of this community-led scheme.
Across the site
On this page we show the plans that were drawn up by Charlie Luxton Design when NHCLT was seeking planning permission.
Proposed Site Sections
The housing is provided in two terrace blocks; one to the north of the site and one to the south, and named accordingly. They are orientated north/south with their design inspired by the simple form of the outbuildings at the Brewery and barns found in the adjacent countryside.
The buildings are two stories high with rooms in the roof, to make more efficient use of the space available. This creates a good surface to volume ratio, which is positive for both energy consumption and efficient use of materials to provide usable floor space.
The roof shapes have been designed to maximise and provide a mix of solar orientation to generate PV power all through the day, especially in the mornings and evenings when local demand will be highest.
The balcony structures on the front of the two housing blocks soften the form and provide the opportunity for planting, and visual interest. Each housing module will have a mix of a balcony, privacy screening, balustrades and steel planting boxes with training wires to encourage greening of the facades.
The housing units are generous in size. They are:
approximately 10% greater floor area than the Nationally Described Space Standards.
designed to deliver flexibility of use for future generations: the homes can accommodate a range of life stages such as play space for children, work-from-home or hobby spaces for adults, or additional space to circulate for people with additional mobility needs.
developed to the Lifetime Homes principles of flexible and adaptable housing to suit all ages. All ground floor units meet the enhanced requirements of Category 2 of the Approved Document to Part M: Volume 1 – Dwellings.
The north terrace is made up of 8 x 2 bed units.
The length of this terrace has resulted in the roof being turned east/west to reduce the visual massing and keep the ridge height down. This roof orientation also ensures the eaves are adjacent to the neighbouring properties to reduce any sense of overbearing.
The multiple gable form references the iconic Almshouses in Chipping Norton and was chosen by the community from a number of design options during the consultation process.
Proposed Elevations - North Terrace
Proposed Plans for North Terrace
The south terrace comprises 2 x 3-bed and 2 x 1-bed houses.
The design is a simple pitched south facing roof, ideal for PV panels. There’s a bedroom in the roof for each 3-bed flat, requirements established through the community consultation. The north side of this terrace has balconies and planting structure to provide outdoor space for the upper flats.
The views from this upper living space and terrace have been carefully considered in the landscape design. Trees will be planted between the parking bays breaking up and disguising the cars, while retaining the view over the shared communal space.
Proposed Elevations - South Terrace
The consultation created a clear desire for a predominantly car-free site with cars confined to a parking court. This has resulted in the creation of a communal space, envisaged to be a new shared space for the wider community. The houses are accessed via this space with the ground floor flats having small back gardens as the focus of the scheme has been to maximise public shared space over private gardens. It is envisaged that this will promote communal use and social interactions between the residents and the village as a whole.
The key requirements for this shared space were identified as:
the creation of a large open inviting space flexible in use and able to accommodate community events such as festivals, fetes and feasts.
a focus on the community building, allowing it to expand to incorporate the outdoor space in fine weather.
a dedicated space for a working allotment garden with a greenhouse.
The central village green space is right at the heart of the development. A circular open grass lawn, for use by all, can also host a small natural doorstop-play feature, using locally sourced materials such as tree stumps, trunks or boulders.
The allotment garden will be subdivided by the community into beds/ allotments with use of the greenhouse. The area will be hedged off with a picket gate and will include a large communal compost facility.
There was a strong desire to have trees throughout the site, which will encourage wildlife and green the space. Small to medium-sized native trees have been proposed with blossom, fruit/ berries and vibrant autumn colour.
Trees have also been proposed in gaps between the parking bays to break up the mass of parked cars and reduce their visibility from the balconies of the upper flats.
A pre-planning application highlighted concerns about noise and sound pollution from the nearby MUGA at an early stage. As a result, the design was significantly altered to respond to this issue. The car park has replaced the original positioning of one of the terraces, and the community building has also been moved further away from the MUGA.