awards for design & sustainability

sustainability awards

Last night we received two more awards, one for design and the other for sustainability, at the Manchester Society of Architects annual awards event held at Castlefield Gallery. Both were for a residential project that was completed last year.

Dwelle (the design architects on the project) were invited to submit a proposal to Eastlands Homes, a Manchester based Housing Association, for the modernisation of 3 residential tower blocks whilst they remained fully occupied. A key strength in the our strategy was to listen to the residents and the local community. Our response was a design that not only dealt with fuel poverty and gave the blocks a much needed facelift and increased longevity, but enhanced the overall community environment.

Architects Halliday Meecham provided the technical role on the project and Contract Administered the £8 million scheme through (an often rare) traditional procurement using a JCT Contract. The Planning Consultant was Claudia Gilbert, the Structural Engineer was Joule, the cladding specialist was Mark Heywood and the main contractor was Henry Boot.


exhibiting at the National Homebuilding show

homebuilding showThank you to everyone that visited our stand at the recent National Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Birmingham. The feedback on our modular prefabricated designs and unique method of building was excellent!

The exhibition also gave us the opportunity to show people our new Purchase Options and Pricing brochure. We’re still making some amendments based on comments and queries and will make it available in the next couple of weeks – we’ll let you know when it’s available to download in our next newsletter.For our next exhibition, we’re heading back to Greenbuild EXPO in Manchester next month… the sustainable buildings and refurbishment event. It takes place on 7th & 8th May, opening from 9:30am to 4pm both days and is completely free to attend.

After the first day of the exhibition we’ll be off to the Greenbuild AWARDS… dwelle has been shortlisted for the “Breakthrough Award” for our Manchester demonstration project.

Also, please don’t forget, our Manchester show home is open Fridays & Saturdays from 10am to 2pm – contact/location/parking details:


The Crystal – exploring tomorrow’s cities…

The CrystalLast week we jumped on the train to visit Ecobuild at ExCel in London. The exhibition was good, but probably our favourite part of the trip was a whirlwind visit to The Crystal, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens exploring the future of cities. Also in London’s Docklands, we thought we had plenty of time for a quick nosey, but discovered we’d arrived exactly 3 minutes after the last admittance time. Sadly the jobs-worth security guard wouldn’t let us in, but after seeing our frustration, the manager came over and gladly welcomed us into the centre.

Although we only had half-an-hour to look around, we were impressed!

At the heart of the Crystal is an exhibition which showcases global trends and challenges, but also existing technological solutions to build environmentally sustainable, livable and prosperous cities. Across ten zones, the exhibition encourages us to change the way we all think about our cities, now and for future generations.

We’ll definitely head back soon when we have more time.

We highly recommend a visit – more details on their website:


British Homes Awards – we won…!!

British Homes Awards

British Homes Awards

Last week the winners of the British Homes Awards were announced and we won the Britain’s Future Home competition with our “Lifetime”…!! We’re thrilled with this news, especially considering the quality of our competitors designs – we believe it was a close call. So, a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us and to the judges for shortlisting our entry in the first place!

This is a great opportunity to challenge the design and quality of British Housing. Most awards are a recognition of what has been achieved once the project has finished, whereas this is a recognition of what can be achieved and so we have an incredibly exciting future ahead of us.

So even before the dust had settled and our hangovers had worn off, we’ve been busy planning how we are to build and exhibit the full winning design at four leading consumer shows next year. Much more news on this over the coming months…

We’ve also had some early discussions with developers who are keen to build large numbers of our winning design; again, more news soon!


Grand Designs Live – thanks for coming

Grand Designs Live

Thank you to everyone who came and visited us at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham. What a incredible turn out – 64,000 people over the weekend! It was another great show for us and we managed to find a little time to listen to some of the talks on the stage next to our exhibit, our favourite probably being about the Tree Tents, our exhibiting neighbour and their “amazing” spaces.

Your comments were very much appreciated and we are currently working our way through the large number of queries following the show. Some of the questions we were asked has led us to update our Frequently Asked Questions page on our website. We couldn’t continue improving and developing our dwelle.ings without your input.


Gas&Air Studios funky up-cycled chairs & tables

Gas&Air Studios

When we were exhibiting at the last Grand Designs Live, we couldn’t help but notice a range of very cool chairs and tables by Gas&Air Studios that were scattered around the Village. They epitomised our belief in the three “R”s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).

Gas&Air Studios who manufacture them are passionate about the re-use of damaged or unwanted pallets, thousands of which continue to fill landfill sites and litter streets around the UK.  They only use pallets that they find on the streets around their local area in South London and ones that are not wanted… they never use new pallets or pallets that are to be re-used.

Their production process is purely manual and Eco-friendly. Each piece of furniture is handmade from a single wooden pallet by a skilled team. The timber from the pallets is already treated so they only use a small amount of treatment on the wood during the production process. They even collect and recycle all the nails gathered from dismantling the pallets.

They sit perfectly in front of our and are really comfortable too…!!

More information and purchase details can be found on their website:


British Homes Awards – we’ve been shortlisted…!

British Homes Awards

We have some exciting news… we’re one of six to be shortlisted for Britain’s Future Home competition, in the Sunday Times British Homes Awards!

We met the challenge and submitted our Lifetime concept, developed especially for the competition.

As with our other designs, it’s low energy, spacious and bright, has plenty of storage, it’s a healthy home, an intelligent home, but this one is also fully accessible and meets the Lifetime Homes standard. It can therefore grow and adapt over time, promoting a changeable and evolving place for living.

The winning design will be displayed as a show house exhibit at one of the UK’s leading consumer events before being built in volume by a leading developer.

The shortlisted designs will appear in this weekends Sunday Times “Home” section, with an online voting system to allow the public to decide the winner…



hosting Carbon Literacy workshops

carbon literacyYou may not know, but we run interactive carbon literacy workshops in our Manchester, reminding groups about energy, carbon and greenhouse gases, then explaining how we can all reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions and help to prevent Climate Change from getting worse.

It should save everyone money, and help to protect our planet!!

We’re also finding that many professionals are starting to use this certification in bid/tender documents, for funding applications and in their marketing. The project is being supported by Manchester City Council; more information here:

Workshops (half-day) take place every Tuesday and Thursday (and the first Saturday of the month), cost £30 each or £175 for a group booking (7 places). More information can be found on our flyer here.


our first effort at “grow-your-own”


  • 9th July 2013

If like Faye; our in-house grower, “the thought of digging up potatoes rather than buying them from the supermarket really appeals”, then it is not as difficult as you might first think. She “read-up on things and bought first early and main crop seed potatoes to get things going”. Just a little water and patience and you’ll be tucking into homegrown New Potatoes like us.

Even when you least expect it potatoes are sturdy growers, Faye “wasn’t sure if they would grow when planting the first ones out in the cold and wet in January, but our first crop of New Potatoes have arrived and they taste really really good. Maris Pipers next!”.

If you don’t have a garden you can use a raised bed garden like us, we made ours out of the old roofs that needed replacing from the tower blocks next door to the dwelle. HQ.

We’re also in the process of harvesting strawberries and peas… more growing news soon…!


thank you to everyone for Grand Designs Live

Grand Designs Live

  • 10th June 2013

We had a fantastic eleven day stint in London for the nine day Grand Designs Live exhibition in ExCeL in London although slightly tired and missing our dwelle.ings in Manchester. We had a great response from everyone and a fascinating debate around our sheep’s wool insulation. Did you know that the wool we use doesn’t really have any other economic use and could have otherwise been burnt or buried as it is not suitable for clothing or even carpets?

We were lucky enough to have been placed next to the Grand Theatre in the Grand Village, a prime spot for our half-scale section of our and catching a chance to speak to Kevin McCloud. The model gave us the opportunity to show the inner workings of our buildings; the high quality of construction, materials and components used to make a typical

We had an amazing time talking to the visitors of the show, giving us the opportunity to talk about our design, the standards the building meets and even the PCM board, (that’s phase change material, you can find more details on the website).

Thank you to Grand Designs Live for inviting us and hopefully you’ll see us again at their show in October. More details about the event can be found here: