Getting the low down on Hanham Hall

image: typical home design for Hanham Hall by bdonline

Housing and regeneration architect HTA has revealed details of its design for the country’s first eco-village. Hanham Hall, on the outskirts of Bristol, will provide 200 homes, all of which will meet with the requested level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Project overview

. 188 units (62 affordable and 126 private/for sale, including some senior citizen sheltered housing and First Time Buyer homes.
. Density of scheme: 53 dwellings/ha – size of site: 6.6ha.
. Landscaping of site to include the provision of two new large parks.
. The project will also provide: community facilities, a sustainable living centre, farm shop, restaurant, crèche, café, offices.
. The scheme will start on site in late 2008 with an estimated two year construction period. The homes are 100% better in energy performance than the current building regulations standard.

Energy performance

The homes promise 100% improved energy performance than the current UK building regulations standard. This includes the basic fabric which is highly insulated, the windows which are triple glazed and the doors that are insulated. This means that a family occupying these homes can reduce their carbon footprint by approximately 60% without making any lifestyle changes, the team behind the scheme claim.

All houses have the living spaces facing south to take advantage of natural light and warmth. The bedrooms face north to help them stay cool in summer.

They have shading devices, in the form of moveable screens, to reduce the risk of overheating in the event of a warmer future. The houses also have thermal mass in the ground floors and in the wall linings, and mechanical ventilation which works overnight to introduce cool night air into the fabric.

Heating and electricity

The heating and electricity are provided by a zero carbon biomass combined heat and power plant (CHP). This will be backed up by a connection to the grid and gas boilers. The CHP produces 100kWe and 255kWh. The heat and electricity is delivered to the homes via a private heat and power network, this may be extended beyond the boundary of the project to other homes or businesses.


The homes use recycled rainwater, collected from the roof, stored underground, and pumped into the washing machine and WCs. This, together with other measures, reduces the average family water use by approximately 47%, from 150 litres per person per day to 80 litres per person per day.

Walls and windows

The homes are built from factory made elements which minimise waste and which are energy efficient to produce and build. Walls are Kingspan TEK SIPS (structural insulated panels) made from two layers of Oriented Strand Board with urethane insulation between to make a rigid structural panel.

Windows will be made of high specification timber. Cladding will be a mixture of render and timber cladding from sustainable sources. Recycled materials will be used in the foundations and in the road construction. The sound reduction of the construction is better than the current building regulations.

Impact to existing site

Where existing buildings are demolished, the materials will be crushed and reused onsite. Existing ecology will be protected during construction and the new landscape is designed to enhance and improve the local wildlife. The historic building will be refurbished to the highest UK sustainable office standard for reuse as a community and employment facility. There will be a crèche on site built as part of the historic building refurbishment.


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3 Responses to Getting the low down on Hanham Hall

  1. Mark Ellery says:

    a very interesting article.
    i am currently researching and designing a concrete frame hemp walled sustainable community at kings cross, london, for more info see my blog at boidus

  2. matt says:

    Mark, for some reason your site/link is infected with a Trojan virus.

  3. Mark Ellery says:

    very sorry about this
    the wordpress site is highly susceptible to attack, we are building a new site from scratch to fix the problem, please check back in june when we will have it up and running

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