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Architype completes Passivhaus affordable housing in rural Shropshire


The £2 million scheme – drawing on local vernacular – aims to provide a model for rural developments in the West Midlands

Located on a greenfield site in Callaughtons Ash, Much Wenlock, this £2 million development designed by Architype provides 12 one, two and three-bedroom homes for the South Shropshire Housing Association, of which two are shared ownership and 10 for social rent. With tackling fuel poverty a priority, the housing association decided to follow Passivhaus principles, which can minimise operational costs to around £100 per year for the average house.

Architype, based in neighbouring Herefordshire, has designed the units through ‘investigating the local vernacular’ of Shropshire, working with what it terms a ‘barn aesthetic’. A natural palette of materials sourced locally has been used: clay roof tiles, lime render and hardwood cladding, which has been thermally modified to increase its resistance to decay. Entrances – including entire gables where these contain the main point of access – have been accented with cream-rendered panels. 

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Callaughtons Ash Housing by Architype

Architect’s view

The site layout and landscape design was particularly challenging as a result of the steeply sloping site, although with the need for brick retaining structures came the opportunity to broaden the palette of landscape materials. The development was ultimately able to reduce water run-off onto the adjoining road through a wider sustainable drainage strategy.

The houses are arranged around a central shared public green space for use by the new community. Through collaboration with local groups, native tree species and wildflower meadows planting form a central part of the development.

Paul Neep, associate and project architect, Architype

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Callaughtons Ash Housing by Architype

Source: Architype

Elevations and floor plans (3 bed)

Project data

Start on site date April 2017
Gross internal floor area 3 x 3 bed 84m², 7 x 2 bed 74m², 2 x 1 bed 50m²
Construction cost £2 million
Architect Architype
Client South Shropshire Housing Association
Landscape consultant Node
Structural engineer Thomas Consulting
M&E consultant Alan Clarke
Quantity surveyor WP Housing
Main contractor SJ Roberts Construction
Certifications on target to achieve Passivhaus Certification
Air tightness levels ≤0.6ach @50pascals
Predicted energy demand heating demand 15kWh/m².a, primary energy demand 120kWh/m².a


Readers' comments (5)

  • Tenants of the two bedroom houses might find it tricky accessing thr lounge/diner - from inside the house that is.

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  • Just a draughting error - blame it on the software - the rooms generally appear relatively compact on the plans (to put it politely), but this might be accentuated by the comparatively thick Passivhaus external wall construction.

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  • Noddy boxes and blacktop roads. Looks banal.

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  • Is that a timber clad blind window on the gable?

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  • Render-clad on some houses - mysterious.

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