Trivselhus Partnership comes out on top in Cambridge

TOWNhus  - our joint initiative with the innovative UK developer TOWN - has been selected as preferred development partner by Cambridge City Council to deliver a 40-home scheme at Orchard Park, Cambridge.

The competitive bidding process saw a shortlisted group of developers invited to submit proposals for the site, known as K1. The winning submission was made by TOWNhus. Construction is expected to begin in February 2016.

The new community will comprise around 40 homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses, a large shared garden for food growing, play and relaxation and a shared ‘common house’ where residents will be able to eat together and socialise.

The scheme has been designed using Trivselhus Climate Shield and passive thermal design principles. The homes will be highly energy efficient, with warm living environments and very low energy bills. At the same time, they will be spacious and light, with tall ceilings and generously sized, triple-glazed windows.

 Trivselhus’s founder and chief export director, Sture Lamme, said:

“Trivselhus is excited to have the opportunity to show the benefits of our precision timber building system in a new setting. We offer a holistically sustainable way of building – using our own slow-grown timber to manufacture homes that are high-performing and long-lasting – which has a strong fit with the ideals and requirements of the cohousing group.”

 Jan Chadwick of Cambridge Cohousing, said:

“After years of hard work, our members are delighted that TOWNhus has been chosen as our development partner. They offered a creative and convincing response to our brief that will help us in deliver our vision for a place, which is beautiful, sustainable, friendly and fun. We’re looking forward to seeing the scheme built over the next 18 months – and to attracting more members to join us and live here”.

The TOWNhus plans, designed with Cambridge-based Mole Architects, take an innovative approach to housing design by allowing members to shape their own homes.

 Jonny Anstead, director of TOWN, said:

“We are thrilled to have been selected to help Cambridge Cohousing realise its vision for a new community at K1, Orchard Park. Cohousing has an important role to play in meeting housing needs in a new way – not only by helping people shape the places they live in, but also in reinstating the sense of community and neighbourliness that is often missing in new developments.”

The development takes the form of three terraces of houses and ‘paired’ flats, together with a low-rise apartment building, with dwellings being finished in a range of four different kinds of brick, chosen to complement each other and the local setting. The ‘common house’ will form a standout building visible to people passing the site on King’s Hedges Road.

 The project has been designed by award-winning Mole Architects, who have been at the forefront of sustainable design and whose sustainable housing for the University of Cambridge is currently under construction.

Mole Architects’ Principal Meredith Bowles said:

“This is a very exciting project. We were asked for a design that provided beautiful, simple homes that can be readily adapted and customised to meet the needs of their inhabitants. The dwellings will wear their passive design principles and Swedish timber build system lightly and look for the most part like a contemporary take on the traditional Cambridge terrace. The common house, on the other hand, will be a real one-off and a fitting centrepiece for this new community.”

Councillor George Owers of Cambridge City Council, which owns the K1 site, said:

“There is a growing expectation on councils to enable and support custom-build and cohousing groups so it’s fantastic that Cambridge City Council is using such innovative methods to deliver housing by facilitating this development. The Council is looking at a number of models for new housing provision and a mixture is needed to tackle the housing crisis. Sale of the land will release funds which can be reinvested in other Council priorities, bringing benefits to the wider city.”

For more information about the K1 project visit

Updated: 4/9/2018

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