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RIBA launches low-carbon affordable housing contest

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A new competition has been launched by the RIBA to find an architect to design a £3 million affordable, low-carbon family housing development in rural Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The winning scheme – which will sit in the heart of Lawrenny village, close to Milford Haven in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – will have to achieve a minimum Level 5 in the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The competition brief calls for ‘an exemplar [design] that is both appropriate to its context and can be seen as a natural progression of rural design in the 21st century.’

In recent years the ‘increasing popularity of the National Park’ and soaring house prices has led to a shortage of affordable housing in the area, and, the RIBA claims, ‘many of those struggling to find homes are the children and grandchildren of the local families’.

Now a new plot has become available following the proposed relocation of contest-backer Lawrenny Enterprises, which intends to move its ‘home farm’ operation away from the centre of the village.

Once the initial expressions of interest are in, up to eight architects will be longlisted and invited to attend a short interview.

Four teams will then be shortlisted and invited to proceed to the design phase of the competition – each will receive an honorarium of £4,000 to develop a design proposal.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 29 April 2008. For further details visit www.architecture.com/competitions

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