Aire Design, part of the Aire Regeneration Partnership, has won the second Millennium Communities Competition at the former coal-mining village of Allerton Bywater in West Yorkshire with a 'sustainable' scheme which pledges zero defects, a 66 per cent reduction in construction time and massively reduced build costs.
Regions and regeneration minister Richard Caborn announced the winner last week, saying the partnership's 'innovative' proposals would help create a new heart for a village where 850 jobs went with the closure of the pit eight years ago. 'They will take housebuilding into the twenty- first century, combining the principles of design excellence, social well- being and environmental responsibility' he said.
Aire Design's Professor Doug Clelland is working alongside engineer Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners and housing researchers at Liverpool's John Moores University on the scheme, which will add 644 new dwellings and create 30,000m2 of community and commercial space with a total value of over £80 million. The first innovation is that the project will be delivered through a partnership company in a bid to cut possible disputes between members of the construction team. It aims to 'interweave' the archetypal village fabric with recent European achievements in urban housing, drawing inspiration from the first Millennium Community blueprint by Hunt Thompson and Ralph Erskine. One aim is to emulate the construction techniques of Germany and Holland, where typical costs are 30 per cent cheaper, by making housing components on an industrial estate in the village. A new village green and primary-school expansion are proposed and each home will be 35 per cent larger than standard.