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front cover lifetime home design guide

Case Studies

Oxley Woods

Oxley Woods is a development of 145 homes of innovative and sustainable design. It consists of a number of different house types to suit single people, couples and families. The overall site, which is in Milton Keynes, covers 3.26 hectares. 25 of the 145 houses have received funding under the First Time Buyers Initiative run by English Partnerships to assist people into home ownership. English Partnerships had high aspirations for Oxley Park, aiming to achieve an attractive, sustainable, well-integrated neighbourhood that offers a high quality of life.

Design and Construction

The developer, George Wimpey, has worked with design partner Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners (RSHP) (formally Richard Rogers Partnership) to produce a development that meets high environmental standards, within strict budgetary controls. Off site manufacturing has been used extensively. Prefabrication in a factory has been used for the main components of walls, ceilings and floors. In addition, other components (such as stairs) and service installations (heating, ventilation and power) have, despite being complex to achieve the required environmental standards, been largely standardised and again pre-fabricated off site. These latter elements, linked to bathrooms and utility spaces, form a core ‘service zone’ within each dwelling, allowing a flexible and adaptable arrangement for the ‘living zones’ (living, dining and bedrooms) around the core.

With this extent of pre-fabrication, assembly / construction time on site was significantly reduced enabling cost savings, whilst quality control, in a factory environment, remained high. Sustainability credentials for the development are also high, with high levels of insulation and air-tightness, an innovative way of recycling hot air circulating through the service core, and high use of recycled materials.

Awards and Recognition

The Oxley Woods site is one of 10 English Partnership sites developed by winners of the Governments ‘Design for Manufacture’ competition. This competition set requirements for innovative, sustainable housing which was also affordable – 30% of the dwellings on each site having to be built for a construction cost at or below £60,000. George Wimpey and RSHP effectively ‘won’ the right to development the site through their competition entry – 56 of the 145 dwellings having a construction cost within the competition’s limit. This cost effectiveness, together with the design, specification, method of construction, and sustainability credentials, being judged as meeting the competition’s requirements.



More information can be found on the Oxley Woods website