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Ollier Smurthwaite submits plans for off-grid flood-proof homes

  • 3 Comments

Manchester-based practice Ollier Smurthwaite has lodged plans for five off-grid, flood-proof homes in a valley east of Oldham

The 1,335m² scheme will be built next to the River Tame between the villages of Uppermill and Dobcross and raised above the flood plain on stilts (see sections attached).

According to the architect, the five-bedroom detached homes are split into two volumes: ‘The taller, more dominant, stone-clad element responds to the local historic architectural context and faces the street’ with the cedar-clad rear elevation ‘expressing the eco-credentials of the design while also responding to the woodland and river setting.’

The super-insulated houses have been designed to Passivhaus standards with solar panels and ground source heat pump so they can be self-sufficient and off-grid.

A spokesperson for the studio said: ‘[The eco-credentials] align with Oldham Council’s strategy to become the greenest borough in Greater Manchester. The intention is that the development should have minimal impact on the natural flora and fauna and will leave it as undisturbed as possible.

‘Rather than surrounding the houses with conventional fencing and planting, the natural materials of the houses sit in the natural landscape. Semi-private outdoor amenity space is provided by a deck or jetty above the unspoiled site.’

Subject to approval, work is expected to start on site this July and take a year to complete.

Section ollier smurthwaite

Section ollier smurthwaite

Project data

Location Ladcastle Road, Dobcross, Saddleworth, Oldham
Local authority Oldham Council
Type of project New-build residential
Client Confidential
Architect Ollier Smurthwaite Architects
Landscape architect To be confirmed
Planning consultant Paul Butler Associates
Highways consultant Curtins
Ecology consultant REC & Rachel Hacking
Flood Risk consultant Ambiental
Structural engineer To be confirmed
M&E consultant To be confirmed
Quantity surveyor To be confirmed
CDM adviser To be confirmed
Lighting consultant To be confirmed
Main contractor To be confirmed
Funding To be confirmed
Tender date May 2020
Start on site date July 2020
Completion date July 2021
Contract duration 12 months
Gross internal floor area 1,335m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional
Annual CO2 emissions 7.8kg/m2 per dwelling
Total cost To be confirmed

Site plan ollier smurthwaite

Site plan ollier smurthwaite

  • 3 Comments

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Good cover for urban foxes, that 1m high undercroft - surely, given the decision to suspend the ground floor above the predicted flood level, it would be wiser and more cost effective to provide working headroom to enable use for car parking (and facilitate maintenance) if nothing else.
    And, of course, in this age of record flooding, increase the 'safety margin'.
    If the thinking is to avoid the temptation to enclose the space and destroy the logic of its creation, isn't that a good management matter, rather like the enclosure of balconies?

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  • Industry Professional

    Are they REALLY "off grid" - or merely energy neutral?

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  • Industry Professional

    I've just downloaded the floor plan. There's a lot of space wasted for circulation - move the stairs and get another bedroom in upstairs!

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