New housing by Gokay Deveci completes on Scotland's West Coast
Set against magnificent hillside woodland, the site occupies a sea front location in Dunoon that is extremely attractive and commands spectacular views of the Clyde. It was sold to Fyne Initiatives by Argyll and Bute Council, on the basis that the purchaser would provide affordable housing to meet needs local community, as well as leasing the woodland and providing a small workshop that would accommodate activities of the Bullwood Group. This group provides education for local people with special needs as part of managing the woodland.
The Scottish Government's Social Housing Investment Programme has shown that Dunoon is an area of high demand for social rented properties and affordable homes. The client's aims were to develop proposals that would facilitate the provision of affordable, good quality and low-energy designs of one, two and three bedroom family houses to be sold as ‘Homestake' (shared equity). This scheme will allow first time buyers to purchase between 51-80% of the property, leaving the remaining ‘golden' share within the ownership of Fyne Initiatives. Community participation took place at Park Hotel Dunoon in November 2007, when three design options of terraced and semi-detached houses were presented to seek local community reactions.
The overall design typology follows the traditional built form of fishing villages arrangement where gables are facing the sea in an effort to reduce weather exposure and prevailing winds. Although white render finish is the most common tradition, there are many examples in coastal areas where contrasting colours are used that add a strong sense of place and vitality. The massing arrangement creates a two storey ‘street of double gables' with a gap between to accommodate south facing one-bed units with exclusive use of roof gardens.
The design team sought to respond to local conditions, whilst at the same time ensuring that the output is being of our time by demonstrating key characteristics of good contemporary architecture. It is innovative and responds creatively to the demands of this waterfront site. A special effort was made to ensure that the architectural form and proportions were in harmony with the essence of Scottish vernacular architecture.
This innovative scheme is the first social housing scheme in the UK to be officially accredited by the German ‘Passivhaus' Institute - an international construction standard only awarded to buildings meeting rigorous energy efficiency criteria. The calculations based on PHPP, the overall energy consumption is 36.4 kWh/(m2a) which includes for the space heating, domestic hot water, household and auxiliary power. The heating demand is 15 kWh/(m2a) and 1,750 kWh/a for the whole building. The house has now been occupied for half a year and figures are being confirmed.The total CO2 emissions is 24.7 kg/(m2a) and 2,183 kg per year for the whole building. This is the equivalent of using three car tanks of diesel to heat the house for a year.
All 14 of the properties were sold quickly to local people, mainly first time buyers within 2 months of completing the project on 5 April 2010. The project proves that sustainable and energy efficient design is possible on a social housing budget. Affordability was not achieved at the expense of architectural design or construction quality. Indeed, the design solutions we arrived at met the requirements of best practice in environmental sustainability. The contractors were John Brown (Strone) Ltd and the project was completed on time and on budget.