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Samantha’s social housing vision for Preston

Architectural Technology student project to benefit tenants.

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The final year project of a mature student from Preston could help to improve living standards for social housing tenants in the city.

Samantha Starkie has drawn up plans for a new development in the area as part of her studies for a degree in Architectural Technology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Homes would be designed to the German ‘Passivhaus’ building standards, which use a ‘fabric first’ approach to create very low energy buildings.  The plans would see the regeneration of a brownfield site located on the corner of Grimshaw Street and Queen Street turned into 50 new dwellings centered around a communal garden, designed to help create a sense of community.

The development would utilise modular construction methods to enable better quality control over the construction period with less disruption to the local area. Homes would become available more quickly due to a faster build process, meaning revenues can be generated earlier for investors.

Samantha said: “For my final project I wanted to show how the use of these techniques can bring many benefits to tenants, through a drastic reduction in heating costs while increasing thermal comfort and well-being. This approach would help reduce the number of families in Preston trapped in fuel poverty.

“When carrying out research, I discovered there are a number of councils around the country using these build standards but none are taking advantage of modular construction methods. There is nothing like this in Lancashire. It would be wonderful if Preston Council was to show an interest in adopting this approach.”

For my final project I wanted to show how the use of these techniques can bring many benefits to tenants, through a drastic reduction in heating costs while increasing thermal comfort and well-being.

Samantha, who is a trained illustrator and previously worked as a medical artist in hospitals, has always had an interest in architecture, inspired in part by watching her dad work as a joiner.

After raising her two sons, James, 18, and Robert, 16, she was inspired to carve out a second career and enrolled onto the course at UCLan.

“It’s been very much a family affair, with my sons studying for their A-levels and GCSEs, while I have been working to complete my final year’s work. We’ve all been going through similar experiences and have been able to support one another along the way,” she says.

“Studying at UCLan has been great, I’ve found it to be really flexible adapting it to my own interests. I’m now hoping to undertake specialist Passivhaus training to become a certified Passivhaus designer, to see my plans become a reality would be fantastic.”

Samantha’s work will be on display at UCLan’s Preston campus from 9-16 June as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show.  For more information visit https://lancashireartsfestival.co.uk/

Her work can also be viewed at https://sjstarkie.wixsite.com/mysite

Press Office | 16 June 2017