On Wednesday 20th February the Suffolk Design team, along with a mixed group from Suffolk local authorities, other Suffolk groups, and local architects, embarked on the second one-day study tour, this time visiting developments in Norwich and King’s Lynn.

The first stop was Goldsmith Street, a large scale urban Passivhaus scheme in Norwich, with a tour guided by James Turner, Mikhail Riches. The flats and houses, all facing south, are for social rent, making this the largest social housing scheme in the UK to achieve Passivhaus. Our study tour guests seemed to be very keen to return in 6-12 months’ time.

Moving on to a tour of Hillington Square in King’s Lynn, led by Architect Michael Dillon from Mae, this development, currently a ‘split screen’ view of new and old, is sensitive, and has a low environmental impact approach to remodel an existing estate.  The estate regeneration aims to improve the standard of housing and the quality of life of its tenants. It includes refurbishment of 320 properties, changes to the estate layout and public realm improvementsThe project was awarded a planning excellence award by RTPI East of England in 2015.

After stopping for rest and re-fuel at Red Lodge Country House in King’s Lynn for lunch, the group were then given two further site visits, firstly to Carrowbreck Meadow, a low-density settlement of Passivhaus certified homes with an over-provision of affordable homes which have been thoughtfully grouped so the development sits comfortably in its idyllic woodland setting. The positioning and orientation of the homes maximises the access to solar gain in winter and prevents over heating in summer. This talk was led by Dan Towers of Hamson Barron Smith.

Lastly, the group were given a guided talk around the Enterprise Centre (UEA), Norwich, by the Architect James Todd, Architype. The Enterprise Centre is one of the UK’s most sustainable buildings, it is a centre for student entrepreneurship, and a regional hub for innovators and businesses that are committed to a low carbon future.

Thank you to all our guest speakers, tour guides, and to everyone who attended this 1-day tour. The next study tour takes us to various sites in Essex on 11th March 2019. If you are interested in finding out more about Suffolk Design please visit: www.suffolkdesign.uk

Image: The guided tour of Goldsmith Street.