OX Place and Oxford City Council have successfully won three awards for new homes in the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) Awards 2022.
The council’s housing corporation has been a three-time winner in the New Buildings category. Its development of 43 new homes at The Oval and Ashurst Way in Rose Hill was one of three plaque winners, with new homes at Cumberlege Close and Edgecombe Road each receiving a certificate.
The OPT Awards aim to recognize the contribution that projects, large and small, can make to the character and communities of Oxford. The three OX Place winners come from a field of 54 entries in six different categories.
Affordable and sustainable
The OPT Awards are a testament to OX Place’s commitment to high quality design and its positive contribution to the public realm with affordable low carbon homes.
The three developments include 34 affordable social housing units. All but three of them have been rented at social rent, which is usually around 40% of an equivalent private rent. The council’s tenancy strategy bases affordable rent on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels, and the three remaining social housing units have been let at less than two-thirds of market rents.
The other 25 homes are condominiums, helping people get on the ownership ladder by buying a share in a home they otherwise couldn’t afford to buy on the open market.
OX Place’s “fabric first” approach means that all of its developments feature improved insulation and airtightness standards at a minimum. With added features such as solar panels, this means OX Place homes are highly energy efficient and exceed government carbon reduction targets.
OX Place is aiming for net zero carbon for new developments by the end of this decade.
“OX Place is committed to building high-quality, affordable, low-carbon homes, and I am delighted that OPT has recognized this with three awards. Not one, not two, but three!
“Success has many parents, and our OPT Awards would not have been possible without collaboration with architects, contractors and many colleagues from Oxford City Council. Thank you all.”
Helen Horne, Managing Director, OX Place
“It’s great to see OX Place getting well-deserved recognition for some outstanding projects at the OPT Awards. OX Place is leading the way in providing affordable low-carbon homes in Oxford, and these awards are testament to the hard work of the team to provide homes fit for the future of our city. Congratulations!”
Councilor Alex Hollingsworth, Cabinet Member for Housing Planning and Delivery
OX Place’s largest development to date saw the construction of 43 new homes in Rose Hill and was completed in August 2021.
The 43 homes are in a mix of one-bed and two-bed apartments on two previously developed sites. Each is made up of two blocks, with 18 social housing on the site of the former Scout hut and advice center and 25 condominium houses where the 1950s community center once stood.
The use of solar panels means new homes go 62% beyond carbon reduction requirements in 2013 building regulations.
As part of the LEO project, OX Place and the Low Carbon Hub are also working in partnership to test a revolutionary Solar Saver energy offer using electricity generated by solar panels.
All 43 homes were built to the Lifetime Homes standard, meaning they are fully adaptable to meet the changing needs of people throughout their lives.
The new homes were designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects and built by Feltham Construction. The development was supported by funding of £1,615,000 from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
This development of nine social housing units was completed in October 2021.
Built on a previously developed site once used for gated housing, the new houses are set in three stepped blocks. The gables, pitched roofs and buff brick and gray tiled construction provide a modern take on the neighboring houses while remaining sympathetic to the overall character of the area.
The use of solar panels on four of the homes means Cumberlege Close exceeds the carbon reduction requirements in the 2013 building regulations by 19%.
To encourage biodiversity, the development includes bat and bird boxes, as well as bee bricks in the exterior walls of the houses. Bee bricks provide nesting spaces for solitary bees to lay their eggs.
Cumberlege Close was designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects and built by Feltham Construction. The development was supported by £495,000 funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
OX Place completed this development of seven social housing units in November 2021.
Edgecombe Road has one four-bed, two three-bed and four two-bed houses. They were built on the former site of the Royal British Legion Club, which was demolished in September 2020 after being abandoned for over four years. A poppy design has been incorporated into the stonework to commemorate the heritage of the site.
The use of solar panels means Edgecombe Road exceeds the carbon reduction requirements in the 2013 building regulations by 57%.
The development includes two covered areas to store up to 17 bikes. Nesting boxes have also been installed for swifts.
Edgecombe Road was designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects and built by Rigg Construction (Southern) Ltd. The development was supported by £340,000 in funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.