Housebuilding Innovation Awards 2007
Designs by RSHP for a new housing scheme at Oxley Woods in Milton Keynes have been recognised in two categories of the Housebuilding Innovation Awards 2007.
The house design (part of the Government’s Design for Manufacture Competition) was singled out in the ‘Housebuilding Innovator of the Year’ award category – in which George Wimpey was the winner – as a demonstration of the company’s innovative ethos. In addition, the Oxley Woods house was also Wimpey’s winning entry in the ‘Best Innovation in the Use of Materials and Products’ category. The judges commented that now ‘…a phase of the scheme had been completed and materials could now be seen working in situ, which gave it an edge over the other entrants.’
The Awards – which focus on key issues currently facing UK housebuilders – are considered to be the industry’s benchmark event and have the endorsement of the Department for Communities and Local Government. RSHP has collaborated with George Wimpey to deliver a housing development of up to 145 units with 10 different house types of two and three storeys. Each frame can be erected on site within two days. Perhaps the most inspirational innovation is the ‘EcoHat’, a new generation of chimney which on top of the services spine, filters fresh air coming in to the building and reuses hot air circulating through the stack to optimise energy consumption.
As a result, the homes enjoy a 40 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared with a conventional new house of a similar size and a 50 per cent reduction when the EcoHat is used to top up energy for a hot water system. The judges noted that the ‘…development at Oxley Woods may well define a new era in housebuilding and sets a heady standard for other developers to live up to.’
Ivan Harbour, RSHP’s project director, said: “It’s encouraging to get this sort of industry recognition. We are confident that the design and approach to spatial planning used in the Oxley Woods development can be readily applied to other locations. This will
help to contribute to addressing the acute shortage in the UK for high quality housing which is relatively inexpensive and which also makes a significant contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
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