Client: Cambridge Investment Partnership

Programme: Final phase completed 2022

Approximate Cost for all Phases: £4.5m

Aylesborough Close Phase 2 has recently secured unanimous planning approval from Cambridge City Council. QODA are acting as MEP and Passivhaus Consultants for the development which will provide 70 affordable homes across three sites and a community garden with play equipment and seating for residents to enjoy. The objectives of the project are to create low-carbon, environmentally, and socially sustainable new places to live in Cambridge.

Aylesborough Close is the latest collaboration between the design team and Cambridge Investment Partnership, which will see over 250 new and affordable homes across Cambridge. 36 aging homes will be replaced with 70 low carbon council homes designed to Passivhaus standards. The units will range in sizes from 1 bedroom up to 3 bedrooms. Existing green spaces along the edge of the site will be retained and improved. The development aims to address the housing crisis by providing high quality new council homes, and to help address the climate crisis with low-carbon, environmentally sustainable homes.

The project will provide sustainable design throughout the development. This includes optimising the window sizes and depths, utilising solar shading, and including louvres for secure ventilation. Each apartment will benefit from an optimum balance of natural light without the issues of overheating. A simple form factor with high insulation levels delivers a fabric-first design.

Each apartment will contain a dedicated space to accommodate an air source heat pump and MVHR unit. This will provide residents with comfortable living spaces, good air quality, and lower running costs. Electrical car charging spaces will occupy half of the available spaces, and ample cycle parking aims to promote sustainable transport.

The aims of the development design are to combine sustainable aspirations with affordability.

On Aylesborough Close, every part of the architectural and MEP design has been optimised to deliver a building within the Passivhaus Classic Standard. This has been done as a careful collaboration between BPTW Architects, Hill Group as Building Contractor, and QODA as MEP / Passivhaus Consultant.

As designed, the buildings should deliver for their occupants very low running costs, considerable health and well-being advantages including excellent air quality and daylight, and a high degree of climate resilience to the heat waves that are going to be increasingly common in the UK. They should therefore be considered exemplars of environment building, with a focus on benefits to occupants.