The development of 5 sites in Bristol to provide affordable, healthy homes for Bristol City Council’s tenants was Gale & Snowden’s 5th phase of Passivhaus developments delivered with a Local Authority / RSL.
All of the sites were brownfield, many being derelict council garages, and presented challenges including restricted site access, existing services and existing rights of way. All were constrained by planning requirements regarding privacy and overlooking and their relationship with and integration into the surrounding residential areas.
The nature of the underused, infill sites required the multidisciplinary design team to work closely with the client delivery team, Local Authority departments, statutory authorities and local interest groups to ensure that the development of each site was optimised.
Early and on-going engagement with local residents through the presentation of design iterations at public consultations proved invaluable in helping to inform the design and in garnering public support for the schemes.
The dwellings, a mix of scales and tenures including family houses, bungalows and flats, deliver extremely energy efficient Certified Passivhaus, high quality urban design with reference to Building for Life, and are compliant with the Lifetime Homes Standard and certified Secured By Design.
The scheme was constructed using a monolithic clay block methodology. Building on the principle of traditional building materials, this construction involves minimal moisture during construction, vastly speeds up build time and allows for significantly quicker drying out times. This construction method provides moisture buffering within the dwellings resulting in healthy living environments and at the end of the building’s useful life, the entirely mineral wall construction can be crushed and recycled without the need for expensive separating of materials.
The external colour palette reflects the warm, muted tones of the natural building materials that may have traditionally been found in the local area and have been juxtaposed with brighter colours for the entrance doors to introduce variety and provide a sense of identity for individual dwellings. Internally, a distilled palette of high-quality, robust and healthy materials accentuates simple, efficient floor plans.
The schemes were procured using single stage competitive tenders and a traditional contract (JCT Intermediate 2011 with Contractor’s Design portions). Gale & Snowden provided full RIBA Stage 0-7 architectural, mechanical and electrical engineering, landscape architecture, and Principal Designer services, as well as acting as lead consultant employing civil and structural engineers.
Gale & Snowden has extensive and proven experience in delivering low-cost, high-performance housing and prides itself on an evolutionary approach to design. We are constantly striving to develop and improve on all aspects of the design, specification and execution of every one of our projects, drawing on a rapidly growing body of experience and using new knowledge to benefit our clients and end-users. The physical, environmental, social, and economic context for any project is carefully considered so that the resulting high-quality, functional design responds to and enhances its surroundings whilst meeting all client expectations.
Building23 Affordable Homes
ClientBristol City Council