Having completed our experimental low energy BASF house at Nottingham University we were asked by the Peak District Rural Housing Association to design 8 zero carbon, affordable homes in the Peak District National Park.
The sensitive location meant we were not able to use some of the low cost industrial building products we specified for the BASF house. We did, however, apply the same passive design principles however.
We suggested a linear development in keeping with the venacular tradition of the historic village centre. This created houses with a north/south aspect. The north, and more visible elevations were simple with traditional detailing, whereas the southern elevations were fully glazed. Trees were planned along the southern boundary for screening and to provide shade from the low level winter sun. The land to the north was to be a community orchard.
We worked with Ian Ward as a consultant to achieve a scheme which would achieve level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Overall we were happy with the design, although, given a freer reign, we would have adopted a more contemporary approach to the northern elevations!
There was a great deal of support for the proposal, both because of its sustainability, and because it provided much needed affordable homes for local people.
There was unfortunately a small group of very vocal local people who were opposed to the development. They incorrectly, claimed that the site was a former village green. This involved the Housing Association in a costly legal process which despite being successful in seeing off the claim, ultimately meant that the scheme could not go ahead as planned.