Program: 139 single family houses
Client: Bouwfonds Fortis
Phase: completed, 2001

Langerak is the second phase of a large city extension on the outskirts of Utrecht. Maccreanor Lavington’s project for 139 dwellings was one on five nominees for the Rietveldprijs, a Dutch prize awarded biannually for the most innovative realised building.

The brief had a high sustainability agenda, achieved through using passive design solutions. With an environmental design team at Ecofys, Maccreanor Lavington developed an aerodynamic shape for the buildings, creating a microclimate around entrances and yards to reduce wind vortices. This was envisaged to reduce energy usage from between 3% to 9%. The buildings are all naturally ventilated and incorporate a heat recovery system.

It was stipulated that drainage from hard surfaces should be minimised so a system of wadis was employed to reduce the rate of water run-off. At the centre of the scheme there is a public green space which floods during heavy rains, attenuating the water running directly into the existing drainage system and allowing the control of unpredictable flooding.

The project was shown in the Hanover EXPO in 2000, as part of an exhibition demonstrating excellence in sustainable building design.