Jamaican Prime Minister’s Low Cost Housing Design Competition
‘Submission Receives Honourary Mention & Certificate’
As land is at a premium, flat sites are the most sought-after and are limited on the other hand sloping are more readily available as highlighted by the Prime Minister in his competition launch speech, he said finding a solution to address these sloping sites would be welcomed.
The Flat Site:
The site in the first instance has been designed as a gated community or it can be an open site of 18No three-bedroom semi-detached properties. Vehicular access around the site is a one-way loop system around a central landscape island. The communal facilities, septic tank located at the far end which is accessible directly from the road for emptying, the refuse garbage bags collection and recycling station point enclosure is located close to the main entrance area, children’s play area is accessed from the main area and between the houses which overlook the play area. Ecological diversity is encouraged by planting trees and hedgerows around the site perimeter, providing a wildlife habitat. Outdoor rear private garden spaces are kept small to minimise its maintenance but large enough to entertain guests. Each home has the provision of two shaded parking space and visitors parking is located at the site entrance with EV charging points. Communal LED lighting is provided to eliminate dark areas making the development feel safe for residents and visitors.
The homes are designed as semi-detached with secure covered veranda on three sides with level access which is fully wheelchair friendly including full access to the ground floor bedroom, wheel in bathroom / shower and wc with under stair storage. The Living, dining and kitchen is one large open space divided into three zones; kitchen zone with its open vertical fin wall with end to end open view across the dining zone and living zone. The kitchen window is positioned for security surveillance at the entrance door. With generous floor to ceiling height, this allows for ceiling fans to operate safely whilst giving the room a spacious feel. Louvered fanlights are provided above all openings external and above internal doors to allow for natural cross ventilation with fitted mosquitoes mesh to the external openings.
The Sloping Site:
The site in the first instance have been design as a gated community or it can be an open site of 51No three-bedroom detached properties. Vehicular access around the site is one-way direction loop system around the landscape streets. The communal facilities, septic tank located close to the site entrance which is accessible directly from the road that can be pumped and emptied easily, the refuse garbage bags collection and recycling point enclosure is located close to the main entrance area, children’s play area located at the top of the site. Ecological diversity is encouraged by planting trees and hedgerows around site perimeter, providing a wildlife habitat. Outdoor private garden spaces are on the slope of the garden with adaptable facilities provided for wheelchair users make it accessible and safe for their use.
Access into the property is gained from service roads and each house has parking provision space for one or two cars which is adjacent to the house and is a shaded covered space. Visitors parking spaces are located at various locations around the site with some having access to EV charging points. Communal street LED lighting provided around the site eliminating dark areas and making the development feel safe for residents and visitors.
The homes are designed as detached properties with a secure covered veranda with level access which is fully wheelchair friendly including full access to the ground floor bedroom, wheel in bathroom / shower and wc with under stair storage. There is a side door from the hallway leading onto the veranda or veranda access gained from the living area sliding glazed doors. The Living, dinning and kitchen is one large open space divided into three zones, kitchen zone open plan with views across the dining zone and living zone with panoramic views from this space. With generous floor to ceiling height that allow for ceiling fans to operate safely whilst giving the space a sense of spaciousness. Louvered fanlights provided above all openings external and internal to allow for natural cross ventilation with fitted mosquitoes mesh to the external openings.
Earthquake-Resistant Rough Sleepers Housing with Community Engagement
Balboa Park Upper Yard USA
The Site and its context:
This isolated, triangular shaped two-acre island site, surrounded on all sides by constant vehicular movement, posed many challenges to develop it into a vibrant community.
Following various site studies, our final conclusion was to locate the building centrally on the North of the site, whilst maintaining close access to Balboa Park Station. Ecological diversity is encouraged around the site perimeters. The main focus is on the boundaries that border Southern Freeway and part of San Jose Avenue. Planting trees and hedgerows will provide a wildlife habitat and help to filter and thus reduce the dirty air and traffic noise, for the benefit of the people using the site.
The site is well located and has transport access to three Muni trains, four BART lines and various bus lines, which connect to a variety of destinations. Provision will be made for car-pooling schemes for householders, who will use electric vehicles with recharging points provided.
A healthy lifestyle will be encouraged for all by walking and cycling. Safe areas will be provided for residents to carry out these activities, with the provision of a safe cycle storage system.
The flat roof will be covered with roof-mounted photovoltaic array solar panels, to generate renewable energy and help reduce the consumption from the grid.
Rainwater harvesting will be incorporated to store rainwater runoff and bathroom grey water, which will be reused to flush toilets and water the gardens. Surface water will be allowed to soak away through permeable surfaces.
The scheme is formed of three main elements: the parkland areas, the ground plinth and the upper floors.
The site park areas will be managed by the management team. Where possible, they will recruit and employ residents or local people, giving them first preference to any onsite employment opportunities, supported by job training where possible.
The ground floor commercial plinth is a mixture of many facilities that serve the community and bring in an additional commercial income stream for the development. The secured barrier control service road serves the commercial spaces, emergency services and refuse collection and other limited usages. There are limited wheelchair car parking spaces.
The grand public staircase deals with the differing site levels and its projecting overhang on the Northern side, adjacent to Geneva Avenue, will act as a meeting place, close to Balboa Park Station. Local residents can have popup vending areas around the site, to develop as small business opportunities.
The upper housing development of six floors, reaches its highest level on the Northern part of the building and steps down in height towards the Southern part. The scheme totals 105 accommodations, with five differing flexible unit types that accommodate 1-5 persons.
The building form concept is a large block that has been sculptured to form various individual blocks, of which no two are the same, allowing each to have an insertion made with overhangs, developing an architectural control rhythm.
The individual accommodation blocks are colour coded with their colour reference taken from surrounding street buildings. This gives each block its own identity. Each is served by its own lift and staircase, accessed via key fobs by the block residents. The entrance and exits are fob controlled for security.
The communal footbridge corridor on each floor acts as a central spine that connects the blocks together, with open cut-out spaces allowing light and cross natural air movement to penetrate through the development, keeping it cool and light. Depending on the orientation of the sun, it will be casting shadows through the building, bringing sunlight into the internal plant gardens.
Parts of the development will incorporate internal and outdoor roof terrace spaces for the residents.
- Addresses climate change using full circular economy principle
- Built to Passivhaus standards with zero carbon plus units
- All materials are recyclable
- It’s the most sustainable kit-of-parts MMC building system
- Deliverable in high volume
- Designs that meet any architectural style
- Eliminates snagging and defects
The aim is to develop a Zero Carbon Building, which is good for our planet and for future generations.
The design addresses modern day living and is Elastic in approach, as it is interchangeable, allowing for flexibility of choice. The house type is based on a standardised house chassis that provides various layout options, which can be changed over time. The building structure is future proofed, as it is adaptable in addressing variable household mixes. The external building’s visual appearance is dependent on the external colour of materials selected from the palette, allowing each house to have its own distinctive character within the architectural house style.
The houses are laid out back-to-back, facing the street. The green garden spaces within the development are accessed via the various pedestrian routes that cross the site in various directions, which are adequately lit at night, providing lighting for security. These garden spaces are gated with fob access control after hours for residential access.
Ecological diversity will be encouraged by planting trees and hedgerows around the site perimeters, providing a wildlife habitat. Soft landscaping consists of shrubs and flower beds in the front garden.
Rainwater harvesting is incorporated to store rainwater runoff and bathroom grey water, which is reused for flushing toilets and watering the garden. Surface water will be allowed to soak away through permeable surfaces. Photovoltaic panels to the main roofs are to provide power for lighting and are linked to a battery storage unit.
The houses have dedicated on-site private parking for electric vehicles, including recharging points that will encourage the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and hybrids. The front garden area incorporates garbage recycling storage for bins and lockable bicycle storage. On the public highway, there is provision of on-street car-pooling parking bays and recharging points.
The house layout is over three storeys and accommodates between 2 – 5 people, offering generous space for home working and other activities. The entrance lobby leads through into an open plan kitchen and living area. This area benefits from having a double height space, which is fully glazed, with an abundance of uplifting, natural daylight. It is overlooked from the upper floor gallery. The staircase leads up to the first floor with a (guest) bedroom with street views, a shower room and a home office / bedroom, with a projecting internal sun space. The home office overlooks the double height living area, with views into the garden. A separate staircase leads up to the second floor with a bedroom with a front terrace and street views. The master bedroom, with en-suite, also has a rear terrace, with views over the garden and beyond.
Nature and FlexiWellbeing Centre
This visitor centre design concept is of a reptile resting on the edge of the lake. The nature reserve has a mixed habitat of ponds, seasonal flooded pools, reed beds, wildlife and woodlands.
Visitors approach the site either on the public footpath and cycle path, with pleasant views overlooking the lake, or they drive directly into the wooded car and coach park, which has 100 car-parking spaces and a drop-off area.
The new staff facilities, reception, shop, cafe and exhibition space are grouped closely together, so that staff can man and monitor them easily. The visitors and staff enjoy panoramic views over the wetland and beyond from the pavilions’ windows, outdoor decks and upper viewing decks. Rooflights ensure that the internal spaces are light and airy, and reduce the need for artificial lighting. The centre is fully wheelchair, pushchair and child friendly. The upper decks of the viewing tower are fully accessible by lift.
A separate purpose−built building is to be located away from the visitor centre, to facilitate additional staff, volunteers, training and equipment storage.
The sensitive design concept uses an innovative building method, which will have a minimal impact on the nature reserve and its surroundings. The construction phasing allows for the project to be assembled as a whole or as individual pavilions.
The scheme and its component parts can be extended in the future. They are easily adaptable and can be dismantled and removed for reuse, or reconfigured to serve other uses. The foundation is a modular screw-pile system, which will have minimum impact on the site’s ecosystem. When assembled, the building fabric will achieve low U-values, which will minimise running costs. The whole-life costing includes all the buildings’ capital costs, operational running costs and maintenance costs.
Multi Generation Garden Village
More people are now looking for ways of working remotely, and are prepared to move away from cities and contribute to developing new communities. Our multi-generation garden village responds with a vision for all ages, gender and cultures. These garden villages are located accessibly for public transport, and they will encourage the use of cycling and walking. The village will have its own clean air act that will encourage the use of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), and hybrids will be the preferred choice for residents and visitors. Plug-in charging points are provided at public or private parking spaces. Relatively high congestion charges are imposed to discourage the use of polluting vehicles.
The traffic calmed, tree-lined boulevards incorporate public seating areas and bicycle-parking stands. Covered canopies to the cycleways and walkways ensure all-weather protection, making it easy and comfortable to move around the village. The canopies are clear photovoltaic glass panels that generate green energy, which contributes to the running cost of providing LED street lighting, CCTV and the car charging points. The installation payback period is estimated to be 20 years. After that, profits gained from the green economy will be reinvested to reduce the community rates or service charge paid annually by householders.
Cotswold’s FlexiRural Housing
This is an adaptable design approach, for flexibility and modern day living, whilst addressing the local vernacular architectural style.
This terrace of FlexiRural houses, with its projection, breaks the norm for small development elevations. The larger houses are end terrace, which act as bookends on either side of the smaller mid terrace. Each house has its own distinctive identity by colour and differing external appearance, with a combination of the materials, stone clad and render, mixed subtly on the street elevation. All other elevations are stone clad and the boundary walls are made of dry stone.
The three-bed pitch roof house has a separate dining room on the ground floor, which overlooks the street, a separate kitchen and a living room with access to the rear garden. The bedrooms and family bathroom are located on the first floor. The master bedroom, with an ensuite, overlooks the street, while other bedrooms overlook the rear garden. Within the roof space is the home office or guest bedroom with an ensuite. The roof space is naturally daylight lit by a roof light and full height double glazed sliding doors. The roof terrace allows for panoramic views over the landscape and further afield.
The two-bed mono pitch roof house has a bedroom on the ground floor with a street view and a combined kitchen / living room with access to the rear garden. The first floor master bedroom with ensuite receives daylight from the roof light and has a window that looks onto the street. The home office is located off of the landing, with its window positioned to benefit the rear garden view. The landing has a double height space with a roof light and a glazed door leading onto the terrace.
There are landscaped garden options, encouraging an enhanced level of bio-diversity. These low carbon buildings address sustainable targets and can be developed into zero carbon houses.