It has just been announced that bere:architects, in collaboration with the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, have been shortlisted in the Whitehill Bordon Eco-Town Terrace Competition to design three zero-carbon terraced houses on the northern edge of the newly designated South Downs National Park in Hampshire.

The five shortlisted teams will now prepare concepts for the site as part of the second stage of the competition. These designs will be presented to both a panel of residents and the judges at the end of January/early February 2012. The winner will be announced at the beginning of March.

In 2011, bere:architects and the Princes Foundation for the Built Environment were brought together by a third party working on behalf of the RIBA. It was immediately obvious that there were strong synergies between the two organisations and these are well documented in a series of interviews between Justin Bere and James Hulme, the Director of Policy and Research at the Prince’s Foundation, published in the RIBA Sustainability Blog and found on the Publications page on our website. The first and most surprising discovery was that the Foundation were well researched in Passivhaus techniques and James Hulme expressed interest in building a Passivhaus if the opportunity arose. Also James Hulme discovered that Justin, while strongly drawn to the Scandinavian version of the Modern Movement, also holds a deep respect for traditional building methods and the inherent sustainability of a building that can be easily maintained.

So this competition is the first opportunity for bere:architects to design a house with the collaboration of the Princes Foundation; to design and build a truly low cost eco-house, with beautiful proportions, natural, healthy materials and low embodied energy.