Orchard House/

Moll Architects

United Kingdom

Project Details



Dartford / United Kingdom



Year (Design/Construction):

2022 / -

Area (Net/Gross):

1150 m2 / -
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The façade predominantly features large blocks of prefabricated rammed earth.
  • The project adopts a car-free scheme. By omitting the basement, the achieve a significant reduction in embodied carbon.
  • The medium-density scheme and compact design enhance design efficiencies and contribute to substantial carbon reductions.

Dartford lies within the area known as the London Basin. The low-lying marsh  to the north of the town consists of London Clay and the alluvium brought down  by the two rivers—the Darent and the Cray—whose confluence is in this area.  The surrounding landscape presents impressive cliffs where we can observe the  different strata that constitute the soil section of the area, we would like to highlight  the beautiful cliffs surrounding the Bluewater Centre. Evoking these textured  natural paraments our building echoes this remarkable feature of the local  landscape and presents itself as a sculpted mass of soil that has been eroded  to respond to its immediate surrounding through a series of recesses and deep  shadows that animate the external appearance.

The predominant material of the façade is rammed earth. Prefabricated blocks of  large format of up to 1 meter in length are assembled forming masonry planes.  These blocks are rich in natural tonal variations and contain 10x less embedded  carbon than that of conventional brick. The shadows and variations on the surface  obtained from the mix of different coarse aggregates confer the building a subtle  texture that echoes that of a natural cliff which is so commonly found in Kent and  Dartford in particular. The plinth that separates the rammed earth volume from  the ground and folds to become the canopy and walls of the access is clad in  GRC panels of light colour that slightly contrast with the beige warm tones of the  rammed earth blocks.

  • YEAR: 2022-Ongoing
  • STATUS: Planning


  • Architect: Moll Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Socotec
  • Services Engineer: Socotec
  • Sustainability Consultant: Socotec
  • Planning Consultant: TaD Planning
  • Transport Consultant: RMB Consultants
  • Civil Engineer: RMB Consultants
  • Archeology Consultant: Canterbury Archeological Trust Sunlight
  • Daylight Consultant: Waldrams
  • Noise: MRL Acoustics
  • Client: Old Manor Estates


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