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Award winning eco friendly council housing?

Here at Yarinaosu we love seeing people pioneer new and authentic movements towards sustainability so it seems only natural to start with what we know. In this age of ever increasing concerns about global resources and the impending doom in which we are inevitably heading towards, its great to see initiatives such as Goldsmith Street in Norwich City come to fruition.

Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley for Norwich City Council; photo by Tim Crocker


Designed by architects Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley the scheme comprises of 100 homes and has achieved the RIBA Stirling Prize for the UK’s best new building. Council houses in the UK are widely seen as small, unpleasant congregations of modular builds produced on a small budget, but these are 2020’s answer to the council house. With homelessness on the rise our government and councils are beginning to invest in projects such as Goldsmith Street. Designed and built to the strictest guidelines of Passivhaus standards these homes are highly efficient. The judging panel commented that its Passivhaus status was “remarkable for a dense, mass housing development.”


Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley for Norwich City Council; photo by Tim Crocker


The scheme was part of a six-strong shortlist. With a strong focus on environmentally conscious building designs, whcih included the almost-zero-carbon Cork House by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, and The Macallan Distillery by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which has a rolling grass rooftop.


Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley for Norwich City Council; photo by Tim Crocker


The Goldsmith Street properties have been praised for their energy efficiency, estimating that the average UK household would save up to 70%. Every aspect of the builds has been scrutinised, from materials to even the placement of the letterbox.


Are these the council houses of the future? Well made, cheap to maintain, energy efficient and complete with garden space and communal areas? Does this sound too good to be true?



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