Practices

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Co-housing in the UK

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Overview of the building and surrounding context. Source: Anne Thorne Architects

The scope of the project is to promote, though architecture, the set-up of a collaborative community living in passive houses. In fact, the building has shared facilities, encouraging social contacts and individual space in a community managed the residents.

 

Each household is independent, but there is a common space for activities, such as crafts, guest rooms, and the provision by the community of three meals per week. As far as possible the scheme uses natural building materials.

 

The group is a mixed community but with particular emphasis on the needs of older people, with the commitment od the23 residents on the aims and objectives of Co-housing.

 

The scheme is for a semi-rural site near public transport, with a mixed accommodation schedule, ranging from 2 bedroom flats to 3 bedroom houses.

 

The construction is timber frame with breathing wall construction and uses recycled newspaper and wooden fibre insulation.

 

In particular, the external wall is a ventilated façade insulated with 40 cm of cellulose fiber between the structural timber frame and subframe and 22 cm of wooden fiber insulation and 25 mm of ventilation chamber for an overall U-value of 0.103 W/(m2K).

 

The roof has timber structure too, it is ventilated and highly insulated, with 10 cm of sheep wool and 40 cm of cellulose fiber and a finished in zinc standing seam for a thermal transmittance of 0.079 W/(m2 K).

 

The windows have a PVC frame with a U-value of 0.89 W/(m2 K) and a high performance glass with a and a U-value of 0.53 W/(m2 K).

 

An interesting feature of the building is the presence of a rainwater garden, for the collection of rain water for being used for irrigation and non-domestic uses.

 

The heating plant is traditional, with gas boiler used for both heating and domestic hot water supply and it is integrated with radiators and mechanical ventilation.

 

The design is highly focused on the reduction energy demand, with a heating demand of 15 kWh/m2 for year and 10 W/m2 of heat load, as calculated with PHPP evaluation.

 

More information on the building are available in English on the PH Database and on the portfolio of the design firm Anne Thorne Architects.

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