Page 118 - Rural Housing Association Design Guide
P. 118
Design guide for social housing in rural Northern Ireland Creating rural places: Designing appropriate buildings Utilities 2 The provision and connection of utilities can greatly impact on how a social housing scheme visually integrates. Often difficulty in easily accessing basic infrastructure, such as drainage, electricity, water and broadband can add considerable financial cost to the development of rural housing. Therefore the provision of services to rural housing 4 needs to be as efficient as possible, but avoiding “cheaper” but less sensitive solutions. Many “off the shelf” utility components as found throughout rural Northern Ireland are often “stuck on” to the exterior of 3 buildings, appearing as after-thoughts, such as gas intakes, meter boxes and satellite dishes. The designer’s aim should be, where possible, to hide or disguise. Where appropriate traditional rural materials for con- struction should be used when such infrastructure would otherwise be highly visible. 1 detailing of utility components 1 SATELLITE DISHES AND AERIALS 2 DRAINAGE (INCLUDING EXTERNAL PIPES) In the future the need to use satellite Ideally manholes should be located within dishes may decrease due to the popularity an area of hard surface, not areas of shrubs and advancement in technology of or grass, reducing accessibility and the streamed services. This however will require attractiveness of the landscaping. Avoid considerable improvement of broadband a proliferation of manholes which create services to many rural communities. difficulties in cutting paviors and kerbstones and can result in messy filling with concrete. Traditional aerial systems often function effectively within attic spaces. Where this is Although impacting on ease of access for not possible, communal satellite or aerial maintenance, soil plumbing looks better if systems are an option. Management of the run internally, rather than “crawling” across system will need careful consideration, due external facades. If necessary, external to maintenance, ownership, security and placement should be simple and on rear performance issues. elevations. 3 SERVICE METERS, INTAKES AND VENTS 4 LIGHTING Meters and intakes should be accessible, All too often, standardised external light incorporated as part of the dwelling’s fixtures are used on social housing schemes; facade and located out of sight in purpose a detail which can indicate the tenure. There built joinery or cladding. Vent outlets in roofs is merit in using fixtures that complement the should either be grouped and incorporated style of the dwelling’s architecture, either in chimney features or located on rear period or contemporary. Variations can be slopes. used throughout individual schemes. Westview Terrace, Sion Mills, Co.Tyrone, with its Conservation Area character diminished by the clutter of prominent A notional scheme at Moneydig, Co.L’derry, demonstrating how good detailing can resolve issues related to utility satellite dishes and television aerials. components. 118 119
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