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Three Acres

Three Acres, Cotswolds

Low embodied carbon through locally sourced stone and breathable sheep’s wool insulation


Truly affordable, high quality Passivhaus scheme


Net zero design exemplar


Heavily constrained site in AONB and Conservation Area

Three Acres is a design exemplar, sustainable community housing scheme designed to provide homes for local people and though who work for local businesses in an area with a chronic shortage of truly affordable accommodation. This rural exemption scheme utilises pasture land, and is constrained by the Area of Outstanding National Beauty, the Conservation Area and two substantial bands of trees with Preservation Orders which restricted the access. The site is also elevated and therefore distantly visible and has active frontage on three sides. 

We used our experience of the local authority preferences to generate a design-led solution to add value for our client, the Community Land Trust.  Our response was design led, and sought to utilise a contemporary response to a traditional Cotswold vernacular. The dwellings overcame the challenge of addressing all of the active boundaries  and used the Passivhaus standard to help create homes which would address the topical issue of fuel poverty by alleviating the future residents of ongoing heating bills.   

Passivhaus generally necessitates that southern elevations must receive more glazing than northern, and this was achieved while creating interesting streetscapes and a sense of place which connected with the wider area. 

The sustainable agenda was pushed further, with materiality calling for not only locally sourced natural stone, but also sheep’s wool insulation and timber frame construction, all of which are locally abundant. The goal and result being to reduce embodied and lifetime carbon for a carbon net zero, truly affordable housing exemplar. 

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