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Architype reveals plans for UK’s largest Passivhaus development

[FIRST LOOK] Architype has submitted a planning application for the largest Passivhaus development in the UK

According to the practice, the eco-housing scheme in Herefordshire aims to ‘transform both the quality and sustainability of developer housing in the UK’.

Attempting to combat the view of ‘Passivhaus as an unaffordable extra’, the sustainability standard has been integrated into the development from the start, aiming to prove that it can be achieved within standard budgets.

The practice’s director Jonathan Hines has joined forces with Swedish businessman, Lars Carlsson to set up a new development arm, named Archihaus, which will act as both client and developer for the project. 

Drawing inspiration from both Passivhaus principles and the local Herefordshire vernacular, the house plans are shallower in depth and have a wider frontage than typical housebuilder homes.

The rural site’s layout features three groups of 50 houses set around a large park space.

Architype Archihaus section

The houses will be pre-fabricated, using standardised modules and efficient panel sizes. This approach could ‘achieve higher standards at a competitive cost, achieving high standards at a cost that is competitive to standard construction’, Hines assured. Drawing from European house building principles the houses will be constructed in a local factory, which will be established close to the Herefordshire site.

The first phase of the development features a ‘cohousing area’ of 21 houses set alongside a community centre, in an attempt to establish a community on the new development.

Hines added: ‘It has been a liberating experience to rethink our role as architects and tackle the issue of housing development from first principles. I hope that this scheme will establish a new benchmark in housing development, by demonstrating that better design quality and Passivhaus can be achieved as standard’.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • A new model for rural development? Can the "rules" of urban design be broken? So many questions, I'm sure Jonathan has good answers.

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  • middletonpaul@me.com

    Good to see the boys pushing the boat out!

    Their presentation this week as part of green thinking week was the most holistic and joined up piece of thinking I've heard in a long time!

    A positive piece of news with so much negative thinking around

    Paul Middleton

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  • At long last , how good to see somebody tackling the issue of proper standards to suburban houses and their site planning , I wish the group every success , this country ( Ireland ) is marred by substandard housing layouts and simply awful house designs which never take any regard for orientation , open space etc never mind the matter of insulation or Passivhaus principals or prefabrication .

    John Meagher FRIAI RIBA .

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  • Good luck to them, more architects need to take the power out of developers' money-grubbing hands. Architype seem to be one of the few who can do it and keep a social conscience.

    However, if there's to be any advance in British housing, we have to ask space-standardy things like "where's the airing cupboard?" and "built-in storage?" McCloud's housing development missed these things too.

    Also I hope all that insulation isn't petrochemical...

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  • I second Sally's comments on lack of storage, so noticable in the layout diagrams by their absence. A traditional loft isn't not possible with passivhaus, so where do the occupants put their stuff?

    Apart from that specific concern on this design, passivhaus is the only way to go, so well done Architype!

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