Working with TateHindle and East Suffolk Council, our brief was to develop options for a highly sustainable development designed to Zero Carbon and Passivhaus standards to provide much needed affordable housing.

The proposed scope of work is to demolish the existing school and provide 61 new build dwellings. These dwellings will be a mixture of apartments and houses spread across a number of blocks, the homes would be eco-friendly, energy efficient with reduced running costs to address the issue of fuel poverty and help towards climate change targets. The school’s existing hall will be retained as an amenity space.

Principles of energy conservation were considered right from the start of the design process. This meant that the massing of the dwellings could be influenced to minimise the exposed surface area of external walls and roofs.

The dwellings will be fully electric, with no gas connection meaning they can operate without the use of fossil fuel. Heating to the larger homes will be delivered using air source heat pumps, for smaller dwellings the heat loss will be reduced to the point where direct electric heating can be operated with suitably low running costs.

To minimise the winter heat losses, the dwellings have been designed to be extremely airtight with continuous insulation. A potential drawback of this is the increased risk of summertime overheating. To address this risk, extensive dynamic modelling was completed which resulted in windows being provided with carefully sized shading devices designed to welcome useful winter sun and exclude excessive solar gains in heat waves.

As per the Passivhaus methodology, the intention is to use mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, so the air leaving the dwellings gives up its heat to the incoming fresh air.

Images – © TateHindle

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