The first of two new Passivhaus social housing schemes in Swansea completes


Architype were appointed by Swansea Council to design the first new-build social housing schemes commissioned by the local authority in 40 years.

Located on 2 separate suburban sites in the north of the city, planning permission was granted for a combined 30 new homes, designed to the rigorous Passivhaus standard.

Designed to a very swift programme, with planning achieved in just 8 weeks; the first of the sites at Milford Way is already occupied, with the second development at Parc y Helig now commencing on site.

Physical and social contextual studies were carried out, along with a study of local vernacular architecture and landscape to inform the design. With the Milford Way development enjoying long views accross the Loughor Estuary and Carmarthenshire coast line, our design response complements traditional coastal architecture in a contemporary style.

The developments offer 1 and 2 bedroom homes to council tenants, with neighbourhood clusters focusing on quality private gardens, welcoming public green areas and promoting natural surveillance. The Passivhaus standard will mean that occupiers can enjoy optimum thermal comfort at radically reduced rates, with energy bills totalling as little as £70 a year.

Opting for Passivhaus has allowed sustainability to be achieved within a modest budget due to the simple and robust energy efficient design. To meet the tight programme on site, we specified timber frame construction, which helped to speed up delivery. The development is the first to be completed by the councils new building division, which has involved a majority local supply chain to complete the work.

photo showing large windows

Photography ©Phil Boorman

view from window, loughor estuary

Photography ©Phil Boorman

Photography ©Phil Boorman

Photography ©Phil Boorman