Hanham Hall project led by housebuilder Barratt includes CHP plant, prefabrication and living spaces that face south.The site will also include a sustainable living centre

Housing and regeneration architect HTA has revealed details of its design for the country’s first eco-village. Hanham Hall, on the outskirts of Bristol, will provide 200 homes, all of which will meet with the requested level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

HTA was selected back in December 2007 alongside housebuilder Barratt in a competition by national regeneration agency English Partnership as part of the government’s Carbon Challenge.

The homes promise 100% improved energy performance than the current UK building regulations standard. This includes the basic fabric which is highly insulated, the windows which are triple glazed and the doors that are insulated. This means that a family occupying these homes can reduce their carbon footprint by approximately 60% without making any lifestyle changes, the team behind the scheme claim.

All houses have the living spaces facing south to take advantage of natural light and warmth. The bedrooms face north to help them stay cool in summer.

They have shading devices, in the form of moveable screens, to reduce the risk of overheating in the event of a warmer future. The houses also have thermal mass in the ground floors and in the wall linings, and mechanical ventilation which works overnight to introduce cool night air into the fabric.

The homes are built from factory made elements which minimise waste and which are energy efficient to produce and build. Walls are Kingspan TEK SIPS (structural insulated panels) made from two layers of Oriented Strand Board with urethane insulation between to make a rigid structural panel.

Windows will be made of high specification timber. Cladding will be a mixture of render and timber cladding from sustainable sources. Recycled materials will be used in the foundations and in the road construction. The sound reduction of the construction is better than the current building regulations.

The heating and electricity are provided by a zero carbon biomass combined heat and power plant (CHP). This will be backed up by a connection to the grid and gas boilers. The CHP produces 100kWe and 255kWh. The heat and electricity is delivered to the homes via a private heat and power network, this may be extended beyond the boundary of the project to other homes or businesses.

The homes use recycled rainwater, collected from the roof, stored underground, and pumped into the washing machine and WCs. This, together with other measures, reduces the average family water use by approximately 47%, from 150 litres per person per day to 80 litres per person per day.

Where existing buildings are demolished, the materials will be crushed and reused onsite.

Existing ecology will be protected during construction and the new landscape is designed to enhance and improve the local wildlife. The historic building will be refurbished to the highest UK sustainable office standard for reuse as a community and employment facility. There will be a crèche on site built as part of the historic building refurbishment.

The development trust will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the development, this will be paid for by charging a ground rent and income from other uses on site, allotments and greenhouses.

There will be a sustainable Living Centre where residents and visitors will be educated about the features of the homes and the development as a whole.

Project details

. 188 units (62 affordable and 126 private/for sale, including some senior citizen sheltered housing and First Time Buyer homes.
. Density of scheme: 53 dwellings/ha - size of site: 6.6ha.
. Landscaping of site to include the provision of two new large parks.
. The project will also provide: community facilities, a sustainable living centre, farm shop, restaurant, crèche, café, offices.
. The scheme will start on site in late 2008 with pproximately two year construction expected on site.
. The homes are 100% better in energy performance than the current building regulations standard.