The largest Passivhaus development in the UK
The masterplan provides affordable homes for new and existing tenants in the London Borough of Camden that put energy performance and fuel poverty top of the agenda.
Agar Grove is Camden Council’s largest community investment project comprising 496 homes, 348 of which will be built to Passivhaus standard, using a ‘fabric first’ approach for superior energy performance, human comfort and up to a 70 per cent reduction in residents’ heating bills.
Following intensive consultation with existing residents, the masterplan design is based on the traditional concept of ‘streets and squares’ with an emphasis on buildings which have doors at street level, creating liveable spaces between them and allowing people to move across, through and within the estate.
The streets provide pedestrian, cycle and vehicle access to and from Agar Grove. At the heart of the scheme is a new Garden Square Lulworth – the estate’s original 19 storey tower – is being retained, stripped back and intensively refurbished: the original concrete structure represents a significant amount of embodied carbon and retrofitting it is a large part of the project’s sustainability strategy.
Around 50 per cent of the homes will be for market sale, helping the Council fund further investment in council homes and community facilities. Agar Grove is tenure blind, with no distinction between the build quality of the market sale, affordable and social housing. All communal play facilities are integrated and shared between the blocks.
The Agar Grove Estate is a great example of how estate regeneration should be done: helping existing residents play an active role in shaping the future of their neighbourhood and ensuring the development works both for them and for future residents.