Design Architecture Social Housing Can Be Beautiful and Sustainable, Like the Kings Road Affordable Flats By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 ©. Modece Architects Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design Correspondent Donna asks “Is there any one out there willing to work with those who are not of the 1%? I am beginning to think those of us that don't have a cool mil sitting around, have to settle for an abandoned tiny house or a cave to retire to.” Yes Donna, there are lots of people designing very green, very sustainable housing for people to retire to. There are co-housing projects where people do it together; There are social housing projects built by non-profits and social agencies that are often wonderful. I recently discovered this, built almost 10 years ago by Modece Architects in the UK that got me really excited; I don’t know how I missed it all this time. © Modece Architects The project combines timber construction, low technology M + E services and plant life which creates a beautiful low energy, ecological building. Full height planting screens support wisteria and clematis which give identity and seasonal change to the building. © Modece Architects In fact it uses a lot of wood in very inventive ways. It was built in 2008, before wood construction became so fashionable again, so probably didn't get noticed in the same way it would now. © Modece Architects The mature wisteria and clematis grow up the screen framework of stainless steel cables on the timber frame. Tests showed that the surface temperature on the cladding behind the screen is reduced by approximately 2 degrees C on a sunny day. © Modece Architects It is in Bury St. Edmunds, UK, not far from Cambridge, on the edge of a conservation area; It sounds like a nice place to live. It is built by the Havebury Housing Partnership, “a specialist in affordable housing” that manages over 6,000 houses and apartments in the area.