Oxford City Council and its housing and direct services companies OX Place and ODS were four-time winners at the recent Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) Awards 2023.
The OPT Awards recognise the contribution projects make to Oxford’s character, streets and green spaces.
OX Place was a plaque winner in the New Buildings category for its development The Curve, on Between Towns Road. The other plaque winner in this category was Bullingdon Community Centre, built for the council by ODS.
A plaque for the Green Award went to eight low-carbon council bungalows in Marston and Wood Farm, delivered by OX Place and built by ODS.
The bungalows were also awarded a certificate in the New Buildings category.
“Oxford City Council is committed to sustainable and affordable development and four OPT awards show that OX Place and ODS are leading the way in delivering. The Curve, the low-carbon bungalows and Bullingdon Community Centre are outstanding projects and I’m really pleased to see them get the credit they deserve.”
Councillor Nigel Chapman, cabinet member for citizen focused services and council companies
"Our guiding principles are to build beautifully designed, sustainable and affordable homes. I’m so pleased the OPT has recognised our work with these awards.
“Nothing beats the feeling of seeing people move into their new homes and I’d like to thank all the architects, contractors and council colleagues helping us to make this feeling a reality.”
Helen Horne, managing director at OX Place
OX Place completed this development of 38 affordable homes in January 2023.
Built on the former Murco garage site, three mews houses and a single block of 35 flats are built around a landscaped central courtyard. The Curve takes its name from the way the development follows the contour of Between Towns Road on its southern boundary.
The houses and 17 flats are shared ownership. The remaining 18 flats are council homes let at social rent.
Enhanced insulation and air tightness standards and solar PV panels mean the development achieves an average 56% beyond government carbon reduction targets.
The Curve has bee hotels across the development and the three houses feature bee bricks, all supplying nesting spaces for solitary bees to lay their eggs.
While the three houses have mews garages the rest of the development is car-free, except for one electric car club space and two Blue Badge spaces. OX Place has provided an electric car for shared use as part of the Co-wheels car club.
The Curve was designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects and built by Feltham Construction. The development was supported with £1,460,000 in funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
Low carbon bungalows
This development of eight council bungalows on three sites in Wood Farm and Marston was completed in November 2022.
The bungalows were designed and adapted for people with specific mobility and social needs, with new tenants matched directly from the housing register. All have been let at social rent.
The bungalows are very nearly zero carbon for regulated energy use – that is, space and hot water heating, lighting and ventilation – as this is 96% lower carbon than in a standard home.
The new homes have triple glazed windows to reduce heat loss and minimise drafts. They also all have air source heat pumps and solar PV panels on the roof, as well as a charging point for electric vehicles.
The bungalows were designed by Ridge and Partners LLP and built by ODS. Their development was supported with £440,000 from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.
Bullingdon Community Centre
Oxford City Council handed over the keys to the new Bullingdon Community Centre to the local community association in December 2022.
Built by ODS, the new centre provides flexible space for community activities, meetings, and social gatherings. It replaces a 1950s community centre that had deteriorated significantly over the years.
A ‘fabric first’ approach means the building has enhanced insulation and air tightness standards that maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Mechanical ventilation heat recovery, solar panels and a heat pump also help to reduce energy needs and lower the new community centre’s carbon footprint.
Construction on the new building began in January 2022. ODS was able to complete the build within a year thanks to timber frame construction - where sections were created in a factory and assembled onsite - rather than bricklaying from the ground up.
Bullingdon Community Centre was designed by Jessop and Cook Architects.
Photo credit for The Curve: Feltham Construction