Housing - Private
We live in a crowded island where space is often at a premium and the challenge we face is to use our engineering skills and experience deliver smart solutions that are desirable places to live in. Good design in residential buildings is always important, but so is the ability to deliver solutions that help create add value for occupants, create value for property developers and deliver the kind of sustainability that benefits everyone.
There is no single solution. The increasing use of brownfield sites for housing developments calls for expertise in geotechnical surveying and land remediation. Demographic changes mean that household sizes continue to shrink for many. Easy access to public transport for work and leisure is a growing demand. In other areas, there are growing demands for high-quality housing and the kind of starter homes that have traditionally been the bottom rung on the property ladder for many. All of these aspects must be delivered with energy-smart solutions that support national carbon emissions targets and protect users from the rising cost of energy, as far as possible.
We worked with Catalyst Housing Group on the regeneration of the 500-home Wornington Green estate in Kensington, which was affected by a number of problems including high levels of overcrowding and under-occupancy.
The regeneration plans include building 538 quality affordable homes of mixed sizes and 20 new retail units for Portobello Road – generating up to 200 new jobs. A connecting road will be constructed to integrate the estate better into the surrounding community. The integration of lean design and a district heating system served from onsite gas boilers and its own dedicated combined heat and power systems helped to meet the local authority’s planning requirements. When the project is complete, it will double the population density of this deprived inner city area and improve the housing stock, which will be a mixture of private sale and housing association rental.
In Norwich we worked with Taylor Wimpey at Riverside Heights, a phased residential development that was part of the regeneration of the Norwich Riverside area. We carried out M&E Performance Design & SAP Assessment Services for the second phase of the development, known as Allison Bank. The development provides sustainable, high-density, high-quality housing with more than 300 apartments, along the river bank.
In Bletchley we worked with Dominion Housing and The Apollo Group on the extensive refurbishment of an old office block to create new homes. The project was part of the planned regeneration of the town centre in Milton Keynes. The refurbishment brought an iconic, more sustainable and secure living environment in the form of what is now called Stephenson House.
The 30-year-old building was extensively refurbished, to provide 110 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with two retail units on the ground floor. Apartments were available for private purchase and included affordable housing in partnership with Dominion Housing Group.