Simon Hatherley

A study to develop a best practice model for the development of low carbon, ecological low rise rural dwellings for 21st century Wales
Supervisors: Dr John Littlewood, John Counsell, Prof Andrew Geens (external)
Research group: Ecological Build Environment Research and Enterprise (EBERE)

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is committed to the implementation of low carbon legislation in the built environment, with the aim that the construction of all new homes moves towards zero carbon as soon as possible. In order to meet the challenge of delivering low carbon dwellings, issues that are specific to rural areas are often of a lesser priority than issues specific to urban areas; but the issues facing rural areas need to be considered. In comparison to urban areas, these issues include fewer design and construction teams for developers; a shortage of specialist skills and narrow supply chains and due to these issues more costly design and development. These issues are especially true for the design and construction of low carbon, ecological and affordable buildings.

The Ecological Built Environment Research and Enterprise (EBERE) group at Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) is working in collaboration with Pembrokeshire Housing Association (PHA), a Registered Social Landlord, based in rural Pembrokeshire; to develop a best practice model to investigate the issues outlined above and consider how they can be overcome in order that developers can deliver low carbon, ecological, affordable, dwellings in rural counties of Wales. The best practice model will explore how different procurement routes and architectural and construction processes can be adopted to achieve WAG targets in rural areas of Wales. It will also consider how architects and design teams have responded to the challenges of building low carbon; rural dwellings and how effectively building users inhabit current ecological dwellings.