Affordable housing for AEOB

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Abolish Empty Office Buildings (AEOB) is a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to rescue redundant workspaces as community based affordable housing. So far they have raised some £280,000 from their community share offer, and have set their target much higher, along with matched government funding.

The practice has an ongoing relationship with the group, and have been working with them on appraisals of sites and buildings in Bristol. They secured their first site in St George, a former workspace that is being renovated and extended to create six affordable flats.

The project will provide

  • 3x two-bedroom flats

  • 2x one-bedroom flats 1x studio flat

  • Common Room

  • Shared laundry

  • Secure shared garden

The work is being carried out as a self managed project, utilising available skills within the group, and avoiding the high level of profits demanded for commercial development. The completed project will be operated as a co-operative with the building subject to an asset lock to retain the development as affordable housing, and prevent it being subject to right-to-buy.

Work is well underway on site, and the group aims to incorporate sustainable principles into the design and construction, including:

  • External insulation to existing building.

  • Highly insulated timber frame construction for the new extension.

  • New double and triple glazed windows.

  • Re-use of existing roof mounted photovoltaic cells. Underfloor heating run from a pair of shared boilers.

  • Utilisation of the south elevation as a 'growing wall' and to shade south facing windows.

  • Design to Secured by Design principles.

  • Materials selected to meet Green Guide.

  • Low water use sanitary fittings.

  • Collection of rainwater for garden irrigation.

  • Sustainable drainage principles for rainwater disposal. Secure cycle parking.

  • External drying areas.

  • Energy labelled white goods.

  • LED light fittings throughout.

  • Home office provision with hi-speed broadband.

  • Provision for recycling waste.

  • Garden composting.

The photos below show the project just before completion. Read more about AEOB here.

The project was part funded by Triodos Bank and featured in the Colour of Money from July 2015.

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