Entry Title: "
Category: Professional, Residential
Designer(s): Client & Architect: Robert and Jessica Barker
Structural Engineer: Paul Carpenter Associates
Party Wall Surveyor: Paul Carpenter Associates
Drainage Engineer: Peter Brett Associates
Main Contractor: John Perkins Projects
Forest Mews is a redevelopment of an urban brownfield site with a small sustainable community of 3 live/work houses arranged around a multi-functional a shared outdoor space.
The site is well located, 5 minutes from the rail station and local services, reducing the need for car use. The buildings create a balance between natural light and thermal performance by using triple glazing as well as high performance insulation to walls, floors and roof. The houses accommodate a total of 10kW of solar photovoltaic panels, approximately 3kW per house.
The houses are clad in steel treillage upon which a variety of climbers are trained. This was chosen over drip irrigation systems on the basis of saving water, cost and providing greater longevity (requiring far less maintenance than modern green walls). The green walls provide cooling and shade, particularly in the future once the plants are established and when temperatures have risen.
A sustainable drainage system, has already been shown to reduce pressure on the sewers and reduce flash flood risk to surrounding properties. This system incorporates a combination of green roofs, green walls, planted filtration strips, a rainwater-harvesting tank, a 17,000 litre attenuation tank and 2 drinking policeman - which the architects invented - to slow the flow of water, as well as slowing traffic. A mix of sedum and native wild flowers were used to increase biodiversity and improve the appearance.
The design should create a sense of sharing, not just in terms of space, responsibility for gardening, upkeep, but also companionship within a small community. It provides a place to work, yet with the sense of being connected to something larger, much like a small practice renting space in a building with other creative studios. The neighbours can pool resources to host open days, events, classes and workshops.