The Elmsbrook Local Centre is our ambitious vision for a true zero-carbon town centre in north-east Oxfordshire. The developer – A2Dominion – needed the centre to reflect the sustainable values of the wider community, which is the country’s first true zero-carbon development on a large scale.
As with any new development, Elmsbrook has been designed with the understanding that residents would put their own stamp on the site. We therefore needed to make spaces and buildings as flexible as possible, and to make sure that our design supports the unpredictable connections between people which bring a community to life.
We put green spaces and streetscape at the heart of our design, linking our landscapes to the wider countryside and orienting each apartment to give extensive views over the river corridor and surrounding scenery. Residents will have places to meet and socialise, as well as generous private balconies. And the public buildings give identity and unity to the site, from flexible community spaces to a nursery, a café, shops, and offices.
Every element of the design is highly sustainable. We used passive design principles from the outset, using the mass and form of the buildings to reduce their environmental impact. For instance, pitched roofs give a greater space for solar PV panels, and the projecting balconies double as brise-soleils, shading the lower floors from overheating. We led the environmental consultants, working closely with them to achieve the requirement for true zero carbon.
“We are pleased to be working with ADP on the design of the Elmsbrook Local Centre, which will provide new homes and social spaces for the residents.”– STEVE HORNBLOW, HEAD OF SPECIAL PROJECTS AT A2DOMINION