A 100 percent sustainable, self-build, co-housing scheme

I am hoping to solve the climate and housing problems on the Isles of Scilly, including the second home ownership issue which leaves many residents struggling to own homes because of the increased house prices. This led me to develop key ‘Zero Waste’ principles. Considering the Scilly problems and the three pillars of holistic sustainability (community, economy and ecology) I am proposing an Ikea- type/ wiki-house instruction booklet to self-build a 100 percent sustainable self-build co-housing scheme. This includes improving on existing sustainability standards.
I want to go beyond the Passivhaus certification and address embodied carbon and wellbeing.
I also want to push the co-housing principles to the max. Reconsidering the common house (a key element of a co-housing scheme) and adding the additional element of a zero waste, resident – run recycling centre, with workshop and shop to initiate a circular economy- waste to resource system on the island.

Illustrations of the 3 key drivers of the scheme: Materials for their lifespan, Holisitc Sustainability approach and A Cyclical House System.


1. Materials used for their lifespan
2. Holistic sustainability
3. A cyclical house system

The overall site plan displaying the landscaping of wild and more defined allotments acting as a buffer zone between front door and communal paths.


A contrast between the structured “growth gardens” and “free,wild gardens” shows a buffer between public and private. Each residence and the commonhouse/ recycling centre have their own 2 metre buffer perimeter.

Rendered View of the inbetween spaces, that the wild landscape inhabits and the built form shares.


A wild landscape embraces the houses and common house to re-introduce biodiversity and promote a sustainable way of living to the max.

The house model broken down as an exploded axonometric to show how it is ticking the sustainability agenda set out for the scheme.


To achieve 100 percent sustainability the house must be easily built, affordable and achieve (at minimum) a PassivHaus certification.

CONTACT EMAIL: sellaura7@gmail.com

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-selwood-a747a0179/

Currently Looking for Part 2 employment.

Curated by Laura Selwood