Short Listed for the Building Futures Awards Week Two

This week we are announcing the next three projects that have made it to the Short List.

Project: Boundary Way External Wall Insulation Project
Location: Watford
Client: Partnership: Watford Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Community Housing Trust
Category: Retrofit for the Future Award

The Boundary Way project provides external insulation to over 100 homes on the Boundary Way estate. The project was a successful applicant for the DECC Fuel Poverty funding. This combined with ECO funding provided the opportunity to insulate the homes free of charge to all residents regardless of income or tenure. The scheme will benefit around 270 residents on the estate.

Over 50% of the homes claim council tax benefit. This, as well as the construction of un-insulated concrete, is a strong indicator for fuel poverty. The project will help to reduce energy costs to stem a rise in deprivation on the estate and will produce carbon savings of over 220 tonnes per year.

A brick slip system has been used on the ground floor to improve maintenance and resistance to damage, as well as improve aesthetics. The design feature has added significant value to the finished outcome.

David Strong said, “The regeneration of the Boundary Way estate will deliver numerous benefits in terms of sustainability. The external insulation will result in significantly lower heat loss and fuel bills. From an environmental sustainability perspective the insulation will reduce CO2 emissions whist giving the homes a new lease-of-life.”

Name of project: Crowbrook
Client: Sasha Bhavan
Architect: Knox Bhavan Architect LLP
Category: Design Excellence

Crowbrook replaces an existing 1970s bungalow in bad disrepair and therefore refurbishment was not an option. The brief was to make the house beautiful and sustainable while contributing to the surrounding category 1 conservation area. The house had to spacious and unobtrusive for disability access and the accommodation should be flexible as the couple have five adult children. The couple would both live and work in this space therefore a home office was required.

Crowbrook benefits from careful orientation which exploits passive solar gain while reducing heat loss and solar glare. Low energy devices are used to increase energy efficiency such as LED lighting and low energy devices. PV and solar thermal panels feed underfloor heating and the planted green roof contribute towards the efficiency.

The building has a timber frame and breathing wall system which is a low- tech sustainable approach but this modern breathing wall works similarly to lime plaster in historic buildings. The building maintains and constant humidity allowing the building to move and breath which reduces the risk of condensation.
Passive solar energy principles have been incorporated into the design by heavily insulating the north wall with no openings and minimising heat loss to the north. The southern entrance elevation has an overhang so that in the height of summer when the sun is high in the sky the windows are protected from solar gain.

Peter Studdert said, “The detailing and use of materials is immaculate throughout, and has been carried through with a calm and careful logic that never ceases to impress. This could be the best house to have been built in Hertfordshire in recent years.”

Name of project: 9 Old North Road
Client: Mr Mark Gilligan
Architect: NRAP Architects
Category: Design Excellence

The extension to a late-Victorian town house in Royston sits at a prominent junction on the approach to town and replaces a single-storey pitched roof out-house. Facing Old North Road, the extension now contributes the streetscape.

The external materials used for the extension continued the use of the materials found in the local streetscape. The materials included traditional brick and slate however the modern design of the extension against a traditional streetscape has allowed the materials to create a unique building. Modern slate covers the roof and upper half of the extension while bottom half and surrounding wall utilises brick to match the local vernacular.

Inside, the windows and roof lights have been carefully considered to maximise natural light, with the double height ceiling providing a space that emphasises the use of natural light and the roof light provides natural light as the sun moves across the sky.

Peter Studdert said: “The result is a simple slate-clad side extension to the existing Victorian house that provides a dramatic double-storey height living space.

This scheme demonstrates that a contemporary approach to extending a house can provide an inspiring and appropriate solution even on a prominent corner site.”


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