Passivhaus Cohousing

This Passivhaus cohousing development creates ten sustainable homes on the edge of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

The project is designed to exacting standards for low energy in use and built with a carbon-negative, cross laminated timber (CLT) structure to minimise embodied energy. The homes will be fossil fuel free, with electric heating, hot water and induction hobs. All energy will be sourced from a 100% renewable supplier.

Design Concept

Our design is inspired by George Devey, an architect working in Aylesbury in the Victorian period. Devey favoured a romantic style, creating playful collages of Tudor, Gothic and Victorian architecture.

In the spirit of Devey’s idiosyncratic collages, our homes celebrate vernacular styles and materials. The new architecture hints at history, ruin and rebuilding.

Slightly angled roof ridges imply differential settlement over time, suggesting a building rooted in its place. Large polished concrete lintels are finished in a terracotta hue to match the handmade brick. Exposed, oversized lintels above windows reflect those of the surrounding agricultural vernacular.

Facing the communal sunken pathway, exaggerated chimney stacks peak above the surrounding roofscape. Outside, the projecting stacks create a quiet corner to the entrance of the home, offering privacy and a sense of ownership within the communal grounds. The windows and facade compositions are asymmetrical, referencing a country farmhouse that has been extended over the centuries.

Cohousing Aims

Cohousing developments create intentional communities that share some aspect of daily life together, whilst residents also have their own private space. This approach can help alleviate isolation and loneliness, creating a strong community spirit. Cohousing tends to work best with communities of between ten and forty households.

Common House

The largest building in the scheme is a common house arranged around a courtyard, providing shared facilities for all residents. Facilities include guest bedrooms, a study, a communal kitchen and dining hall, a playroom, meeting space and community workshop. The common house encourages social interaction whilst allowing the private homes to be planned very efficiently.

Passivhaus Approach

The Passivhaus approach creates homes of outstanding quality and comfort, achieved via airtightness, insulation, MVHR and triple glazing. Passivhaus builds are certified through a precise quality assurance process.

Project Architect:
Amrit Marway, Ben Ridley, Alastair Selven

Structural Engineer:
Architecture for London

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Construction Cost:

Internal area: 1,500 m²

© Alastair Selven / Architecture for London

Passivhaus housing architect - concrete architectural model showing houses in a cohousing design
Passivhaus housing architect - concrete architectural model showing houses in a cohousing design
Passivhaus housing architect - concrete architectural model showing houses in a cohousing design
Architect designed cohousing in Buckinghamshire
A proposed Architect Designed Pasivhaus Cohousing scheme in Buckinghamshire. Sustainable housing design.