Novers Hill Design Competition
Novers Hill Illustrative Masterplan
50 dwellings • Design competition • Bristol Housing Festival
—Design brief
An exemplar of ecology, sustainability, and biodiversity
Goram Homes and Bristol Housing Festival invited local firms with 20 employees or less to produce imaginative and ecologically innovative proposals that will transform a brownfield site at Novers Hill. The land had been occupied by a primary school and sits adjacent to the Western Slopes, a well-loved wildlife corridor and site of ecological importance.

The ambition is for the site to be an exemplar of ecology, sustainability, and biodiversity whilst also helping the city meet its housing needs through the delivery of 50 new homes. Development is also targeting net zero carbon both through energy use and low embodied carbon materials.
—Team & entry
Partnering with renowned local landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch
Our entry sought to minimise the built footprint with homes that lightly touch the ground. A low carbon, modular construction using lightweight factory-fitted passivhaus system and UK sourced, bio-based materials meant buildings supported by screw piles both removing the need for carbon-intensive concrete strip foundations and the carting away of spoil.

Our approach to landscape was rooted in community and nature co-existing to benefit each other – regenerative and ecologically rich, and which promotes a sense of well-being and wonder. Features such as a wildlife hide, pond, doorstep play, nuttery, woodland play glade, focal productive trees and neighbourhood green.

An attractive, multi-functional public realm leads to rich, distinctive and varied green spaces overlooked by homes. Each with their own personality, these spaces would aid legibility and forge identity, and would have differing appeal to residents, perhaps related to age group, physical abilities or particular interests.
—The experience
Sharing innovative ideas
The competition provided a valued opportunity to forge closer ties with a prominent local landscape practice. Together, we explored going beyond the standard approach to create a medium density suburban development based on new housing models. We shared innovative ideas for a humane and whole-life living environment that builds in climate resilience and ecological health from the outset.

(Image Credit: Churchman Thornhill Finch)
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