AECB News : Carrowbreck Meadow wins national awards!

Carrowbreck meadow

Awards include RIBA National Design Award, RTPI Award for Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing and the Housing Design Award (HDA) DEFRA Award for Rural Housing.

Carrowbreck Meadow is a development of 14 detached and semi-detached homes, the largest Passivhaus development in Greater Norwich.

This innovative development has been designed and delivered by certified passivhaus architects at Hamson Barron Smith (HBS) for Broadland Growth Ltd (BGL), (a partnership between Broadland District Council and NPS Group).

The client objective for this project was to deliver a mixed tenure scheme which provides affordable housing for the local community which exceeds planning requirements and is truly tenure blind, demonstrating the inclusive nature of the development creating a sustainable, energy efficient and a mixed community.

The scheme has not only met the demanding requirements of Passivhaus certification but also provided 43% of the site as affordable homes, an over provision of 13% and is on target to return £1,200,000 to the public purse.

The design response is a contemporary rendition of a well-established and local typology, a ‘Norfolk style’ –defined by a number of references to the historic barn vernacular.

The properties have been carefully grouped so the development sits comfortably in its woodland setting. The positioning and orientation of the homes maximises the access to solar gain in winter and prevents over heating in summer.

This project is innovative in its design, achieving a thermal bridge and draught free building envelope, exceeding regulations for airtightness up to ten times over.

Carrowbreck was one of the first UK projects to use 300mm Porotherm clay blocks. The blocks achieve an A+ BRE Green Guide rating. Paired with a breathable EPS insulation, lime plasters and MVHR it ensures perfect indoor humidity. The external render is microscopically smooth, creating a self-cleaning surface important on this wooded site.

The roof design called for innovation to stay on programme and budget, a site-constructed solution was developed with blown recycled newspaper insulation. Thermography was then utilised to ensure that the insulation fully filled the roof structure.

HBS is providing Soft Landings, tracking the energy and comfort performance of these homes with an advanced web-based monitoring system.

“The air quality in the house is in general amazing…..The consistent temperature of this house is perfect.”

Shared equity purchaser

The development has been informed by the local community and has sought to involve the local community within the construction of the site through apprenticeship schemes and utilising staff from the joint partnership and resources from the Contractor and The Norwich Fringe Project to provide a woodland path for the local community. An animal haven has been provided and a woodland management plan will be created involving local residents.

The development provides a new footpath to the nearest bus stop to improve accessibility to Norwich for this and future development sites.

The homes are positioned to define and enhance the new streets and spaces created, with a bespoke house type developed to define the junction of the new Road and Close. The development is easy to navigate, designed around small groupings of homes to enhance the sense of community. And is the first to be served by a waste management contractor in Broadland on a permeable surfaced road. This shared surface prioritises pedestrian and cycle use and encourages low vehicle speeds.

The new woodland path built for the local community forms a green corridor between Norwich City and Drayton.

“We chose Carrowbreck Meadow as it was set in a lovely woodland environment and built to Passivhaus standards. It’s aesthetically pleasing, modern, and a very spacious family home.”

New resident

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