News PRINCE CHARLES: The first BREEAM rated ‘outstanding’ older persons housing in UK

PRINCE CHARLES: The first BREEAM rated ‘outstanding’ older persons housing in UK


April 25, 2023

Built to the highest BREEAM ‘outstanding’ rating and designed in accordance with Lifetime Homes and HAPPI standards, Prince Charles House provides a benchmark in sustainable design for supported housing accommodation.

The scheme promotes sustainable living for older persons and those with support needs and is the first significant demonstrator project for the Cornwall eco-town near St Austell.

Given the relatively undistinguished character of the surrounding 1950s/60s housing, it was considered appropriate to employ a more contemporary palette of materials, rather than a Cornish vernacular. The walls are through colour render, low level roofs are metal standing seam, higher flat roofs are green sedum type with the main pitched roof entirely finished in photovoltaics and balconies in a simple galvanized finish.

Communal facilities include a residents’ lounge, public activity room, foyer with ICT suite, buggy/ bike store and several meeting/ lounge areas throughout the building. Apartments have been designed to be open plan by use of sliding screens and all have balconies, with south facing flats also benefiting from a winter garden. The internal central corridor has been deliberately widened to allow borrowed light from a glazed atrium with floor cut-outs at each level.

The landscaped gardens have been designed by the nearby Eden Project/ Sensory Trust.  A key feature of the external spaces is the significant amount of area for activity-based gardening projects.

The scheme promotes sustainable living by improving the surrounding environment with a focus on recycling, low energy use, rainwater harvesting, composting, promoting green travel and growing produce. Additionally, Ocean Housing is using the project as a research opportunity to monitor behavioural change as a consequence of introducing new technologies and sustainable design features, which include:

  • Inset glazed winter gardens
  • Flexible public space for use by wider community
  • High fabric thermal performance & compact building form
  • Green roofs and green walls
  • Water recycling
  • Electric charging points for vehicles and buggies
  • Photovoltaics (which provides 70% of the building’s electricity requirements and powers the communal areas)
  • Fully integrated refuse, recycling and composting measures
  • Remote monitoring and data collection of building performance.