Colchester Ecohouse

Module B [High-Performance House] Summer 2020

This is a project under development. The project is cited in a commuter suburb from London.

Address: 313a Ipswich Road, Colchester Essex CO4 0HN

On one of main arterial roads out of Colchester city centre, heading northeast toward Ipswich.

Two miles from Colchester station – 15 mins by bike to station/city centre, including quiet route through Highwoods country park.

● Passivhaus standards and/or net positive energy
● Higher density
● Homes that can be sold at a price that covers the costs of construction but aiming to build something affordable not luxury
● Lifetime homes standard

● Possibility of two homes on the site, sharing a common wall
● South-facing sloped roof for solar
● Use of straw-bale construction (can take up quite a lot of space)
● Use of DIY labour
● Reuse of existing foundation/bricks
● Use of low carbon materials/reused materials like bottle walls

● Noise from main road – needs good insulation, combined with clever planting
● Boring street to look out onto, so put more views towards the garden?

Existing building:
● 1930s bungalow, no cellar, pitched tiled roof.
● Gas central heating (was originally oil-fired)
● Bedroom 1: small double looking onto garden
● Bedroom 2: small single looking onto street
● Bedroom 3: box room with small window, overlooking garage
● Living room overlooking street, square bay windows, fireplace in corner
● Kitchen with dining room extension (flat roof, collapsing) with back door to garden
● Bathroom off kitchen

Brick built garage

Hypothetical users:
Mrs A is downsizing from the 3 bedroom terraced house in Colchester town centre where she brought up her children. Her best friend is a wheelchair user, so Mrs A is looking for an accessible home where she can visit and stay, but also planning for her own future needs. She is looking at bungalows but worries about not feeling safe to leave windows open overnight. She is concerned about potential noise from neighbours above, particularly if they have children. She likes gardening but finds kneeling and bending more difficult these days.

Tom and Rakie are moving from London, where they currently rent a one-bed flat with a small garden. They both plan to work from home 2-3 days a week, commuting to London or Ipswich on other days. They are thinking about starting a family in the next five years. They are keen to have a net-zero emissions home, both as a measure to address the climate emergency and to future-proof against rising fuel costs. They are also interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables, without aiming for full self-sufficiency.


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