Called the Triangle, it is being developed in a joint venture between Hab Oakus, a residential development company established by Kevin McCloud, and the housing group GreenSquare. The site is a former caravan storage area and plant nursery just off Northern Road in Swindon.
The development, a mix of sustainable code level four and five homes, consists of 42 units for rent, shared ownership and private sale for Wiltshire-based client Westlea Housing Association.
Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, and landscape architects Studio Engleback, the Triangle is part of Kevin McCloud’s vision to create housing supports sustainable lifestyles, with open public spaces, rainwater recycling and kitchen garden areas where residents can grow their own vegetables.
The energy efficient development also makes use of traditional eco-friendly techniques and materials such as a hemp wall filling with lime plaster, rainwater recycling and air source heat pumps.
Willmott Dixon Housing won the contract in competitive tender from Westlea Housing Association.
The project will take a year to complete, with television company talkbackTHAMES producing and filming it. Kevin McCloud, who developed the concept for the entire project, will present the show, which will feature the step-by-step process of creating environmentally–friendly housing in a suburban location.
As part of the environmental focus, Westlea Housing Association is also challenging Willmott Dixon to send zero waste to landfill during construction, which it intends to do. The company has previously stated that by 2012 all sites will send zero waste to landfill as standard.
Willmott Dixon’s operations director Paul Bartholomew said, “We’re proud to be involved with such a high profile development that will receive national prominence. The Triangle poses several challenges for us, including the use of hemp and sending zero waste to landfill, but we can’t wait to get started. There are also great training opportunities for local tradespeople and trainees using the 4ward2work initiative.’’
When complete, the Triangle will embody Hab Oakus’ fundamental principles – a strong sense of community, a belief in the importance of public space, respect for cyclists and pedestrians, and a commitment to sustainable lifestyles and outstanding contextual design.