Scott Brownrigg's new housing for well-being



CGI of proposed modular self-build housing at Hamsey Lake, South Chailey, Sussex (Scott Brownrigg for E&A Strategic Land)


The building of energy efficient homes, that both save on carbon emissions and create well-being, is a constant topic of discussion at Future Cities Forum and will feature in our Cambridge ‘Science Cities’ forum this autumn.


How can architects and planners use the natural environment to enrich the living experience of future home-owners?

Scott Browrigg has now announced that its Hamsey Lake project for E&A Strategic Land has received outline planning approval.


The 12 modular self-build plots will be located strategically around Hamsey Lake, South Chailey, near Lewes, providing an opportunity for future plot-owners to build their own homes, under the guidelines of the Design Code it has prepared. It will also allow the residents to create energy efficient and future-proofed homes, which will help reduce energy bills and adapt to changing weather patterns.


The design principles adopted revolve around the central water feature and how the plots respond to this setting with detached housing volumes to maximise visual permeability, balanced transparency of facades towards the water and principal aspect/façade and living spaces facing the lake.


The sustainability vision for the site includes the following:


Future -proofed homes


Plot-holders will be able to design and build homes that will be ready for the future. Measures are outlined to maximise the water efficiency of dwellings, thus helping to adapt to potential future water shortages. Ventilation strategies and the incorporation of balanced fenestration are also recommended to mitigate the risk of over-heating associated with a warming climate. A Surface Water Management Strategy has also been produced for the site which will protect the dwellings against the risk of surface water flooding arising from increasingly intense rainfall events.


Reducing carbon emissions


Custom-build homes can be built with operational costs in mind, thus encouraging home-owners to specify highly efficient building fabric, use the most efficient systems, and integrate renewable technologies that enable on-site electricity generation. The site will not be connected to the gas grid, meaning no fossil fuel combustion will occur on-site. This will both reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with the space and water heating of dwellings.


Health and wellbeing


The location of the custom-build plots on the lakeside, and their integration within the existing landscape will provide future residents with direct access to nature. The orientation will ensure access to daylight and sunlight within the new homes is maximised. Not only will this provide health benefits but it will also reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day, thus reducing energy bills. The provision of a foot path connecting the east and west sides of the lake, and the extensive network of footpaths within the surroundings of the site will encourage future homeowners to take up more active lifestyles and reduce their reliance on private cars.


Resource efficiency


Future plot holders will be able to minimise their consumption of resources and generation of waste. During construction the use of modular and off-site techniques take-back schemes and the employment of recycles materials can reduce the amount of construction waster produced, as well as diverting waste from landfill. The custom-build plots have been designed to provide a permanent platform which may be reused, should the plot holder wish to reconfigure the built form of their home.


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