We live on a crowded island where space is often at a premium, and the challenge we face is to use our engineering skills and experience to deliver smart solutions that create desirable places in which to live.
Good design in residential buildings is always important, but so is the ability to deliver solutions that help 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. 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.
In Norwich, we have 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 and 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.
We have also worked with Dominion Housing and The Apollo Group in Bletchley 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, and 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.