This development is comprised of fifty dwelling units and one Community Resource Centre located on a south facing sloped site at the extreme north east of the City. The site lies at the periphery of extensive private and public sector housing estates, beyond which lie open countryside.
Of principal concern throughout the design process has been the maximisation of the sustainable nature of the development. To this end the bulk of the living accommodation has been planned to face within 30 degrees of due south. This enables the dwellings to benefit from solar heating during the winter months. To minimise overshading of the northern part of the development the two main blocks have been separated as far as the natural limits of the site will allow. Within the two blocks a semiprivate space has been created, accessed only from individual dwellings and the Community Resource Centre. It is envisaged that this area will provide a secure and sheltered environment for the residents. The principal façade of the northern block overlooks this space enabling a degree of self policing to take place.
In the design of each dwelling attention has been paid to increasing the solar exposure of the principle living spaces and to detail the construction in a sustainable manner. To proportionally increase the south façade relative to the north the ground floor slab has been stepped within the majority of dwellings. This step is facilitated by the fall across the site which reduces the need for cut and fill. The higher living room permits a larger window aperture for increased solar gain. To minimise the surface area and potential heat loss through the building fabric the development has been planned as a continuous terrace. To maximise the thermal mass of the dwellings internally there is a pre-case concrete first floor along with concrete block partitions to the ground floor which will moderate summer and winter temperature extremes.
To further improve energy efficiency a ducted ventilation system has been included to each house. Such a system involves the extraction of stale air from kitchen and bathroom areas which is then passed through a simple heat exchanger, pre heating incoming clean air to the living room and bedrooms. This system not only significantly reduces heating loads but also extracts excess moisture from kitchen and bathroom areas, reducing the risk of condensation and mildew.
A group heating system has also been included into the development to supply heating and hot water to each dwelling from a centralised boiler house. A traditional fire place and flue have been incorporated into each house to provide heating in the event of the centralised system failing.