Officers Field | HTA Designs | Dorset

  • Architect: HTA Architects
  • Developer: ZeroC
  • Contractor: Acheson Construction
  • Planning Authority: Weymouth & Portland Borough Council
  • Location: Osprey Quay, Weymouth, Dorset

From the author:

  • 77 highly contemporary and sustainable 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes
  • 24 of which were affordable homes
  • the awkward-shaped, dramatically sloping site formed of a triangular and a rectangular field linked in one corner
  • biomass heating to all homes (the developer set the site a target to generate 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources to add value to the scheme. As a result, half of the homes are connected to a mini-district heating system fed from a biomass boiler while the larger detached houses incorporate individual biomass boilers.)
  • the homes are designed to accommodate the installation of both solar PV and hot water should residents wish to incorporate them in the future
  • they also incorporate water-saving sanitary fittings and the option for rainwater harvesting and smart energy meters
  • every house has a bicycle shed
  • the site will include a carpool, provided with two electric cars to discourage second-car usage.
  • new public square
  • each with access to private and shared open space
  • the homes provide a modern take on traditional family homes in a variety of terraced, semi and detached types
  • good use of the locally sourced quality Portland stone
  • the development was leased to the 2012 Olympic Games to be used as accommodation for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Village until September 2012
  • biomass district heating, wood pellet stoves and rainwater harvesting
  • mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and high performance windows suitable to the coastal location
  • the site makes the most of the challenging topography and maximises views towards Chesil Beach and the National Sailing Centre in Portland

From Building4change:

  • the houses have been cost effectively designed to incorporate earth retaining walls into the structure. These walls, which do not incorporate windows, form the rear walls of garages and utility cupboards
  • the scheme’s target build cost was £100/ft2
  • the developer set the site a target to generate 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources to add value to the scheme
  • most homes have been designed with at least part of the roof facing south to allow future installation of solar renewables
  • all homes are heated using wood pellets, which was the most economical renewable energy technology for the site
  • 59 of the 77 homes have heat and hot water supplied from three biomass-fuelled district heating systems. Each uses a Woodpecker Thermon boiler
  • all the private houses are fitted with rainwater harvesting systems which collect water from the roof and use it to flush the WCs, supply the outside tap and washing machine to reduce the use of mains water by over 50 percent
  • all the homes have piled foundations, many piles over 8m deep
  • the homes incorporate a prefabricated foundation system
  • a resident’s website promotes recycling and use of public transport


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