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Elmswell, Suffolk.

Three Gardens affordable housing project is a ground-breaking 26-home scheme with a deep-seated commitment to sustainable development, featuring a number of systems which yield low in-use carbon emissions.

Living spaces are to be organised on a human scale and rhythm over a staggered vertical section, maximising passive solar gain in winter as well as minimising overshadowing. This arrangement also allows for improved daylighting of the living spaces--the building envelope and glazing ratios were modelled by Buro Happold to establish the optimum relationship between solar gain and daylight penetration.

Rainwater will be collected in underground tanks and used for flushing toilets and watering gardens, while swales (open, marshy drains) will deal with run-off water, as the site can be prone to waterlogging in the winter. These not only provide drainage--they also separate the pathways, play and planted areas, while mimicking the pattern of ploughed fields. The use of local clays, earth and chalk also reflect the English rural vernacular; indeed, no steel and minimal concrete will be used throughout the site.

Four communal green spaces have been created and will be open to nonresidents, including a wildflower meadow, an orchard growing local apples, an allotment and a playing field. www.burohappold.com

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Title Annotation:ON LOCATION
Publication:Green Places
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2008
Words:203
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