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High quality design and landscaping, and environmental sustainability

Essex Housing is committed to delivering high quality homes. Each apartment will include high-specification interior finishes, and exceed energy efficiency and space standards. All will be provided with their own outdoor amenity space in the form of balconies and access to the new courtyard.

Our proposed design has high standards of environmental sustainability and climate resilience as a core principle, meeting and in some cases exceeding current building performance requirements for the lifetime of the building.

The new building would offer significant sustainability improvements against the current library with lower energy use and carbon emissions, limiting the impact of the development on the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation.

Furthermore, our design will seek to reflect local character through the use of a palette of materials inspired by the arts and crafts buildings in Loughton. The ground floor will be fully glazed, exposing the library and civic functions to passers-by and creating the effect of a ribbon of glass that wraps around the building.

High levels of environmental-sustainability would be delivered through measures including:

The redevelopment of the libary building would adopt an ambitious fabric first approach to achieve significant reductions in energy demand, together with reliance on low carbon technologies geared towards zero carbon


  • Heating and hot water provided through air-source heat pump technology (an electric alternative to gas heating).

  • Electric vehicle charging points for residents.

  • Maximising use of natural lighting with LED artificial lighting provided when required.

  • Orientating the building to achieve maximum thermal efficiency.

  • Provision of cycle storage and sustainable travel plan for residents, reducing requirement for personal vehicle ownership.

  • Overheating will be avoided wherever possible by taking advantage of the surrounding natural environment. The positioning of existing and proposed trees will be considered to take advantage of their natural shading abilities during the summer but also to maintain a good level of natural daylight in the living areas of the dwellings. This will reduce reliance on artificial lighting and thus limit energy consumption.

  •  A proposed photovoltaic solar panel system would generate approximately 35MWh of electricity per year, and offer savings of approximately 8 tonnes of CO2 per year.



Our proposals include a comprehensive landscaping plan to enhance the public realm and approach to the library from Traps Hill. This includes:

  • Incorporation of a dynamic courtyard area in the heart of the development, centred around the existing oak tree to provide an outdoor learning area with stepped seating. This would allow for flexibility of use by the library, for public events and as a residential amenity space.


  • Subject to further consultation with Epping Forest District Council, if possible, we would like to improve the the existing area to the west of the building to create an attractive access route from Traps Hill to the library entrance. This we would achieve by potentially relocating existing bins, parking spaces, and the public WC as well as providing a new footpath and soft landscaping.


Landscape masterplan

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