A conceptual design proposal of a duplex 3-Bed housing prototype that can be replicated to form a terraced, semi-detached or detached typology. This project was developed as a proposal for Taylor Wimpey Housing Development.


This project delivers the conceptual design of a duplex 3-Bed housing prototype that can be replicated to form a terraced, semi-detached or detached typology. The 5 key elements of this proposal or as below:

  1. Site Efficiency: The introduction of internal courtyard allows the project to work with the need for open façade from only one side. While the living room and one bedroom access light from the front façade, the other two bedrooms open up to the internal courtyard. This allows the concept to work as terraced housing with back-to-back arrangement too, which is the most compact typology for high-volume building. The 6.7m only width of the dwelling also adds to the efficiency of the planning in serial arrangements.
  2. Flexibility of Lifestyle: The planning of the rooms and especially allocation of one of three bedrooms in ground level, accompanied by an adjacent bathroom, will respond to wider variety of customers’ lifestyles. This room can be used as a guest room for families, as a separate work place for young professionals, or as the room for elderly for mature down-sizers.
  3. Height & Light: Generous height of the living room and upper-level bedrooms, in junction with large window sizes creates a very bright and pleasant internal atmosphere to the house. The double-height living room with its proposed full-height glazing will be the brightest and the most luxury of all.
  4. Privacy: The internal courtyard and the framed outdoor terrace in front of the living room create a sense of privacy to the dwellings. They allow for the rooms to have full-height panoramic windows in ground level, without being too exposed to the outdoor environment.
  5. Context and Variations: The angle and height of the roof surfaces, as well as the angle of the walls in the plan can easily be adjusted to correspond to the shape of the site. In addition the cladding materials and colours could always follow the local context and environment.

The proposed design has an overall GIFA of approximately 94m2, divided into two levels of 50m2 in ground floor and 44m2 in the first floor. Constituent components of the plan as below:

  • Living, dining and kitchen area in the ground level; although living and dining are connected in an open-plan configuration, each of them has a clear separate zone.
  • 3 Bedrooms split in ground and first levels; all bedrooms benefit from built-in or walk-in wardrobes to provide adequate storage space for big families, and both upper-level bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms.
  • 3 Bathrooms; two with bath and one with shower.
  • Entrance Lobby which allows for a clear flow from the entrance door to the living room, kitchen, GF bedroom, courtyard or upper level bedrooms.
  • 7m2 of Terrace in front of and directly accessed from the living room; and 3.5m2 of Balcony to the courtyard in the upper level.
  • Indoor Utility Room and outdoor BBQ area in the courtyard.

The proposed materials for cladding are:

  • Local Brick; mainly in the long side facades of the house and the landscape. Brick is the most used material in the UK and its use help the project to fit better within the context.
  • Aluminium and Corten Steel; as the roof and front façade cladding are proposed. Coloured metal cladding can give a modern feel to the building and also creates the possibility of achieving variety and differentiation, by just changing the colour or tone of the metal sheets. Aluminium also can easily bend and produce the proposed curvature on the edges of the cladding that will soften the formal appearance of the building. 
  • Wood; certain areas such as the internal face of the cladding frames and terrace areas are proposed as wood/timber cladding to add to the warmth of the project.
  • Photovoltaic Panels are proposed to be inserted within the metal roof cladding.

Internal materials and features such as integration of Smart Home Technology are flexible and can be developed based on the developers’ strategic agenda.


Three measures can be taken to enhance the environmental performance of a development, and to reduce the CO2 emissions.

  1. Use Less Energy: A fabric-first approach is key. The first step is to reduce the energy use, through the adoption of sustainable design and construction measures. The proposal for this development is to incorporate a range of energy efficiency measures, including insulation and air permeability that look beyond the current Building Regulation requirements and are future-proof. Given the specifics of the design, the installation of high performance glazing is a very important factor to this development. Generous window sizes can create exceptional spacial qualities, but should be accompanied with a careful and high performance construction system. The body of the building is proposed to be fully insulated underneath the external metal cladding.
  2. Supply Energy Efficiency: Use of district heating networks or decentralized energy generation is a topic that can affect the efficiency of the energy supply chain. At this stage of the concept, and without having an actual site, it isn’t possible to propose the right solution. But in the next stage of the design, this parameter can be considered.
  3. Renewable Energy: There are different methods of using renewable energies, of which we have proposed use of Photovoltaic Panels on the roof of the project. PVs have proved to be the most efficient, flexible, and low-maintenance type of renewable energy systems for such projects. Based on the site specifics, the angels of the roofs can always be adjusted to face the sun and have the optimum performance. From various types of PVs, we propose Hybrid PV Panels, as they are the most efficient type.
  • The design provides sufficient amount of roof space for the installation of PV panels.
  • PV arrays are relatively easy to install when compared to other renewable systems.
  • PV panels provide a significant amount of CO2 savings

Melhem Sfeir

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