Archive for sustainability

Greenbuild Awards 2013

Last week we attended the Greenbuild Expo in Manchester, exploring innovative products such as load bearing insulation for thermal bridge reduction and recycled plastics for external works. We also had the pleasure of being finalists in the Greenbuild Awards.

The Greenbuild Awards 2013 recognise true achievement looking for low-energy buildings that go the extra mile to reduce their environmental impact. The Blurton Community Hub in Stoke on Trent was a finalist within the Breakthrough Award for Innovation. The building features integrated low energy measures including a 33kw GSHP, 9kw PV roof mounted arrays, large scale heat recovery system solar thermal water heating, infra red lighting controls and rainwater storage and recycling. We are monitoring the buildings performance against its expected BREEAM Excellent rating and will use the info to assist the successful future management of the building.

The building is part of the Ingestre Square development, a phased mixed use project including housing, flats, commercial/retail units as well as the Hub and its community garden. The project, due to be completed this summer, is being developed by Aspire Housing Group and Stoke on Trent City Council.

Our thanks to our clients, our project team colleagues Poole Dick Associates, RED Landscape, and Sustain, and the contractor Kier Partnership Homes.

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Making PassivHaus Affordable

Together with our project partners at Brooks Devlin, Capita Symonds and EH Smith, along with specialist product suppliers, we gathered together 17 housing associations and representatives from the HCA to share Passivhaus construction principles at a dedicated event in Birmingham City Centre on 21st February.

Our affordable PassivHaus project was initially created in response to a call for solutions by the BRE in 2011. The event was an opportunity share our knowledge with developers interested in how to design and build Passivhaus standard housing. We began with presentations from the design team to explain the technicalities and design based on passivHaus principles, followed by an exhibition from specialist product suppliers.

Responses to the presentations from our audience addressed important questions about lifecycle costings, ongoing maintenance, simplification of mechanical and electrical engineering in early design stages and alternative systems.

We’ll be sharing as much as possible over the next few weeks through the dedicated affordable PassivHaus website.

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Launch of Affordable Passivhaus Project

Week notes #3 & #4…

Lately it’s been all about http://affordablepassivhaus.info:

affordable passivhaus banner

Over the last few months we have been carrying out a detailed R&D project into making Passivhaus design principles a financially viable option for social housing. Working alongside environmental designers, and certified European Passivhaus consultants Brooks Devlin, our proposals for an affordable Passivhaus were created initially in response to a call for solutions by the BRE Passivhaus competition in 2011.

We took up the challenge to develop our proposals further because we think that construction standards in the UK will require a significant move towards Passivhaus principles. We are launching the project at an event in February aimed at local authorities and housing associations in order to disprove the myths surrounding Passivhaus build costs and share our research.

If you’re involved in delivering new build affordable housing and would like to come along to our event on 21st February in Birmingham, please register your interest via the Affordable Passivhaus website, get updates from the twitter account or drop us a line on email.

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ecoterrace design guide

Over at ecoterrace.co.uk we’ve launched our latest online tool for sharing information about our approach to sustainability. Click on the link below to visit the new design guide and then you can choose to be taken on a tour by pressing the play button or simply choose your own adventure by clicking on slides and notes of your choice.

Ecoterrace Design Guide (powered by Stickyworld)

We’ll be adding more info in the coming weeks and in future using it to share our findings when the energy monitoring process is complete.

eco-design-guide

Thanks to our collaborators at Slider Studio for helping us create this innovative new tool.

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Blurton Hub PV array

Blurton Hub, originally uploaded by axisdesign.

Construction of the community centre at the heart of our masterplan for Blurton in Stoke on Trent continues with the installation of a large photovoltaic array that will benefit from the Feed in Tariff.

The 8 kWp system will deliver signifcant daytime electrical load helping to power a 33kW ground based heat pump using five 110m bore holes mining for heat rather than coal.This significant community resource funded by Stoke City Council is part of a mixed used development with Aspire Housing Association.

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BMHT – Pershore Road opening

Pershore Road opening, originally uploaded by axisdesign.

The first of our Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust projects was handed over recently and we were delighted to take part in the ceremony and meet the family moving in. Here are some details from the press release:

“The homes are the first to be delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Municipal Housing Trust under its large-scale new-build housing programme. The scheme, which will see more than 550 new council homes built in the city, is being carried out with investment from Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The first four families received the keys to their new homes from Councillor John Lines, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for housing, and Lovell regional director David Gough at a specially-arranged ceremony.Mumtaz Begum, 32, was one of the first tenants to take possession of her four-bedroom house. She and her family are set to move from their current home in Acocks Green to their new property in the next few weeks.”It all seems so unreal. I had given up hope of ever transferring to a bigger property,” she says. “I’m just so happy at the move. Previously there were six of us living in a three-bedroom property, and with two disabled children, it was a real struggle. This new home represents a fresh start for the whole family and we all can’t wait to move in.”

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Brandwood End Passive Solar

Today sees the official opening of the passive solar spaces we designed on behalf of Waterloo Housing for the latest phase of Brandwood End in Kings Heath. Thanks to funding assistance from Birmingham City Council we’ve been able to provide two storey glazed spaces to the rear of ten houses of mixed tenure. Designed as flexible spaces alongside the kitchen/dining room we believe that the life style benefits of sun spaces are equally as important as the energy/economic benefits.

Brandwood Passive Solar (1) Brandwood Passive Solar

Like our work in the refurbishment field, we’ll also be doing extensive post-occupancy monitoring of these properties over the next 3 years. We gave a short presentation at Ecobuild this year covering all these issues and the slides are available online.

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focp shelter

This week we’ve been working on sketch proposals for a building for the Friends of Cotteridge Park resident group. Designed to be a robust part of the landscape that can be quickly/cheaply put up in stages, the project uses a combination of off-the-shelf products and earth sheltering. You can see full details at the project site: http://cotteridgepark.org.uk/shelter

cotteridge-shelter-final-sketch

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visit ecoterrace phase 2

Works is progressing well with phase 2 of the ecoterrace project and like the previous properties we’ll be taking part in some open days for the public. Come along and visit us!

4+6 Victoria sun space 2

107/109 London Road,
Chesterton,
Newcastle Under Lyme,
ST5 7JE

Open days:

  • 7th March 10am-2pm
  • 14th March 10am-2pm

4/6 Victoria Street,
Chesterton,
Newcastle Under Lyme,
ST5 7EW

Open days:

  • 18 April 10am -2pm
  • 25 April 10 am -2pm

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2008 Award Winners

Following a busy month of award shortlists, we’re delighted to announce that ecoterrace has won Building magazine’s ‘99% Campaign Award for Refurbishment’.

Sustainability Awards 2008

The project was also a finalist in the CIH Housing Awards and Inside Housing magazine’s Sustainability Awards.

Queens Road was also a finalist in the Inside Housing magazine award, shortlisted under ‘Sustainable smaller social housing project of the year’

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