Hanham Hall | HTA Designs | Bristol

  • Architect: HTA Design
  • Developer: Barratt Homes, Bristol
  • Contractor: Barratt Homes, Bristol
  • Planning Authority: South Gloucestershire Council
  • 7km from the centre of Bristol
  • 185 units
  • site adjoins the green belt, bordered by suburban housing
  • green belt restrictions and the need to retain views of the Hanham Hills meant more than a third of the site could not be built on

From the authors:

  • first large-scale housing scheme to achieve the 2016 zero-carbon standard in England
  • in the grounds of the former hospital
  • structured around a series of green spaces with allotments, orchards, hedges, ponds, cycle and walking routes
  • commercial and community uses in the refurbished Hall comprising créche, offices, café, retail and meeting hall for civic and community groups
  • new energy centre for site wide energy
  • Code Level 6
  • the homes are much better in energy performance than the current UK building regulations standard
  • the historic building will be refurbished to the highest UK sustainable office standard for reuse as a community and employment facility
  • the homes are built from factory made elements which minimise waste and which are energy efficient to produce and build
  • cutting edge building technology in the form of SIPS panels; meeting the projected 2016 Zero-Carbon targets; an innovative community management structure, a development trust; integration with the existing ecology and landscape; sustainable refurbishment of a historic building, and allotments and an orchard
  • prototype units were constructed by Barratts and tested by Oxford Brooks University in collaboration with HTA to test them for compliance with all the demanding standards. These tests included sound, airtightness and co-heating tests. The prototypes passed with flying colours and some of the new homes will be monitored for up to two years to assess their performance in use

From The Building centre:

  • the design prioritises views and light
  • windows openings are oriented to be rotated to achieve maximum daylighting.
  • living rooms open onto generous balconies and verandahs, shaded by screens. These spaces are an important link between the public and private realm. Overlooking the shared gardens and amenity spaces they create a sense of community and safety.
  • the usable volume of the home has been maximised to create a greater sense of space and light.
  • the exterior timber shading transforms a house, complying to rigorous building standards, into something more human, the natural wood blending in with the landscape of the countryside.
  • roads have shared surfaces so pedestrians and cars and bikes can use the same paths, and roads are linked to cycle paths to encourage people to drive less and walk and cycle more.
  • homes are 10% larger than open market housing
  • discrete street parking ensures main public spaces remain vehicle free
  • the scheme addresses local housing requirements by providing a wide range of accommodation, from 1 bedroom flats and coach houses to five bedroom houses
  • these are arranged in terraces, semi-detached and detached arrangements to create varied urban form
  • a significant proportion of the homes are family homes with parking in-curtilage or adjacent to the home
  • Smaller apartments provide an accessible entry level to the housing market, whilst coach houses provide a good intermediate step between houses and apartments
  • Hanham Hall will is run by its residents, who will all have a share in a Community Interest Company set up to manage and maintain the buildings and grounds. It will promote community initiatives such as car-sharing clubs, gardening groups and walking school bus projects. The company will empower residents to shape their community and to create the resources they need for a sustainable future
  • there are 3.7 ha of meadows, orchard and allotments adjacent to development
  • these green areas now provide shared amenity spaces
  • a new park leads through to greenhouses, an apiary, allotments to grow vegetables in, orchards, children’s play spaces, a village green, formal gardens, a swale and pond and meadow grass beyond, and private gardens or balconies to all homes

From Structural Timber Association:

  • each house-type has a flexible plan, allowing the design team to rotate the living spaces to achieve maximum daylight whether the building is orientated predominantly east–west or north–south


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