Page 102 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 102
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Designing appropriate buildings Chimneys Chimneys contribute greatly to the roofscapes of our settlements and rural environments. They provide visual interest to the observer in their rhythm, scale and proportion, and give punctuation and variation of colour and material to long horizontal roof ridges. Chimneys have been a mainstay of our rural built environment since building began and are a valuable design element. With increasing standards of sustainability, including alternative heat sources and the need for “air-tight” buildings there is a trend towards excluding fireplaces in modern social housing. The hearth however has a particular social importance to rural dwellers, as it was the epicentre of the rural life. Hence it is desirable if possible to retain in some form, such as with a sealed woodchip system. There is also a particular issue with traditional styled rural social houses built without a chimney, which immediately identi- fies the dwellings as social stock. A contemporary design can however be well composed without a chimney. If the chimney is not required as a functional element, generally some form of equivalent vertical form is desirable to complement the horizontal alignment of the roof. The designer should carefully consider the alternatives such as ventila- tion stacks, sunpipes, flues for burners/boilers or to accommodate soil vent pipes. There needs to be thoughtful place- ment of these, and of their size and detailing. Dwelling designed as a contemporary replication of a barn, therefore the absence of a chimney is appropriate. Chimney best positioned on the ridge & at the gable. A contemporary interpretation of the rural chimney at an affordable housing scheme at Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow by Dwellings at a notional scheme at Tynan, Co.Armagh. Demonstrating how contemporary dwellings can look appro- Sean Harrington Architects for Wicklow County Council. priate without chimneys, whilst a dwelling designed to replicate a traditional house should have them. 102 103
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