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Earth, Density and Form: The Role of New Housing Models in Building Sustainable Rural Communities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Burford


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The driver behind the need for sustainable development is to mitigate the impact that predicted climate change will have on our cities, land uses and infrastructural systems. This paper explores new spatial forms of sustainable housing in Scotland where the demand for new housing in accessible rural areas is predicted to increase due to pressure from nearby urban centres. Historically, rural building forms were largely influenced by immediately available materials, climate and specific use, resulting in regionally identifiable typologies. However, changes in the way we live, proximity to place of work, and the relationship between home, community and land-use have resulted in rural domestic buildings losing specific regional distinctions. The primary house type on offer through the volume house building market is homogenised materially, structurally and spatially, lacking any relationship to place. The aim of this research was to generate new spatial models of autarkic housing and alternative massing arrangements that responded to land-use, density, energy, landscape and Scottish policy frameworks. The main objective in the study was to generate alternative, semi-quantifiable models that integrated the above requirements within holistic conceptual frameworks for rural sustainable living and which could then be used as a primer for further research and development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burford NK, Robertson C

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: PLEA 2018

Year of Conference: 2018

Online publication date: 10/12/2018

Acceptance date: 10/08/2018

Publisher: PLEA