Fulmodeston and Barney Affordable Housing, NORFOLK, 2014

Mole has always been an ‘early adopter’ of sustainable best practise, and has been an enthusiastic advocate of the Passivhaus system since it became known among sustainable practitioners in the UK. It is based on a combination of passive solar design, a reduction in thermal bridging and infiltration losses, and a measurable improvement in building practice; all aspects that the practice had come to consider as important through empirical evidence.

This project at Barney and Fulmodeston villages was born out of the desire of landowner Delaval Astley to provide local housing at affordable rents. He stipulated that the buildings should be sustainable, and that he would choose the architect, observing that affordable housing is frequently built with little attention to architectural quality or context. Our houses draw on a local vernacular typology, made distinct through the need to open up to the south, and have few windows to the north. Materials are locally sourced clay pantiles, brick and naturally finished timber boards. Gardens are generous, and of course south facing. These are affordable houses that feel warm, generous, and filled with light.


photography: Peter Cook


“Broadland’s first certified passive scheme in Norfolk is a significant step on one housing association’s journey towards social housing fit for the 21st century.”
– Passive House Plus


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