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British firm gets involved in Mongolia's 'cold war'

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British firm gets involved in Mongolia's 'cold war'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

Ulan Bator Ulan Bator

A North East architecture firm is helping to tackle Mongolia's ‘cold war' after completing designs for a major housing development in the country’s capital.

Gateshead’s Gradon Architecture has submitted design proposals for 50 energy-efficient homes in Ulan Bator - a city regarded as the second most polluted on the planet, according to the World Health Organisation.

Working with a local developer, the designs could form a blueprint for replacing Soviet-era homes across the city and will help to protect residents against deadly minus 30 temperatures.

The three and four-storey townhouses, located in the Nukht Valley district of the city, will incorporate a number of sustainable features to reduce heat loss and keep families warm.

Due for approval from the country's Department of Construction and Planning, the development will include photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heating, together with insulation that exceeds British building regulation standards.

Chris Allan, associate architect at Gradon Architecture, said: “Many buildings in Ulan Bator date back to the Soviet era. This means that many people are living in poor quality accommodation, which lacks even basic polystyrene insulation as well as double glazing. In one of the coldest and heavily polluted cities in the world, this is having a real impact - especially on public health.

“We believe that designing modern, sustainable homes for the future can truly improve people’s lives. Therefore by raising the standards of energy-efficiency as part of this scheme, we hope to create a blueprint for the way both executive and affordable homes will be built in the city going forward.

“The government has made a real commitment to creating better homes for everyone across the city, including those people living in the ‘Ger-Districts'. Master-planning is now underway for the city. If our proposals can deliver an exemplar project from which future developments can draw from, we believe thousands of families will benefit from improved living standards in the future.”

Gradon Architecture has delivered a range of international design projects in countries such as Australia, China, and Kazakhstan.

To support the needs of an increasingly suburban area in the Nukht Valley, the practice has also put forward its plans for a new community leisure facility. The building will comprise of a shopping mall, business hub, bowling alley, gymnasium, swimming pool and a sport and leisure club.

Once plans have been approved construction work will begin onsite in summer 2014.

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