In 2020 the Mayor of London unveiled a new five-year blueprint to put high-quality affordable housing at the heart of his plans for London. The programme aims to set a national standard for the next generation of council housing, with an emphasis on excellent design, safety and sustainability.
In Summer 2020 Elkins was engaged by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to construct a new council housing development on the site of an unused garage in Strongbow Road, as part of the council’s Greenwich Builds programme. The scope of the work was to provide two family homes with associated landscaping.
Building net zero
With sustainability a key consideration on the project, Elkins used modular construction (MMC) to build the development’s two residential properties. The homes’ modules were constructed in a factory off-site – a method which takes advantage of repetitive production and uses less energy, making it more environmentally-friendly than traditional construction.
This modern construction method coupled with the intelligent high-quality design of the development was not only beneficial during the construction phase, but also offers long-lasting benefits to the future residents. The use of robust and responsibly-sourced materials means the homes are built to last, reducing repair and maintenance costs over the lifetime of the buildings.
Not only that, but the new properties are net zero homes. Air source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system have been installed to provide a low-carbon energy source. Additional insulation, including triple glazing, and enhanced air tightness of the buildings help prevent heat loss and makes the homes more energy-efficient – a cost-saving that will be passed on to residents.
High quality design
With any new development it is important that the new buildings complement the surroundings for the benefit of the area’s existing residents. With this in mind, we worked within the local community, engaging with local residents, to develop a design with a restrained exterior colour palette that responds to and challenges the wider context of the site.
Interiors are modern and finished to a high specification, designed to provide a high standard of living for the families that will occupy them. Both properties exceed the national space standard requirements and are 100% compliant with building regulations M4(2), ensuring they are accessible.
The existing Hornbeam trees are a prominent feature of the road and special care was taken to ensure that they were preserved on the site. To add to the visual appeal, underplanting with ground colours was carried out to add additional colour and variety.
The finished product provides much-needed high quality council housing for the Royal Borough of Greenwich on a previously underutilised site. The redevelopment enhances the existing streetscape through a design that adds architectural variety, while still respecting the style of other buildings in the area.