Recently completed affordable rural housing designed by gcp Chartered Architects has won the ‘Best Affordable Housing’ category in the Somerset Local Authority Building Control Awards. The project, designed for South Western Housing Society and built by EG Carter Construction, provides 12 new homes for local families. gcp designed the homes to be comfortable and cheap to run, incorporating high levels of insulation with heating and hot water provided by ground-sourced heat pumps. Residents will enjoy low energy costs from a simple technology that is easy to operate and maintain.
Working with Stonewater, gcp have received planning permission for the construction of ten new affordable houses in Wiltshire. The new houses will form an extension to an existing Stonewater development of seven houses on the edge of the village of Sutton Benger.
During 2018, gcp has been continuing to work with Courtenay Investments on the strip back to shell refurbishment and extension of their 1950’s office block in Holborn, Central London. Enabling works are now complete and construction work proper will commence in Q1 2019.
Four schemes have been progressing in Lawrence Weston in North West Bristol with ongoing design work for Ambition Lawrence Weston, Pioneer Medical Group and Bristol City Council to try and bring the vision of a community hub building to fruition. We are also working with social landlord Curo at Henacre Road and Corbett Close. The 128 home scheme at Henacre Road will be on site by Easter next year following a painstaking search for any unexploded ordnance scheduled for the New Year. The fourth scheme is for Bristol City Council to the rear of the Ridingleaze shops where we will have designed nine houses for social rent.
We have also been working on an inner-city housing scheme for Acorn Property Group at Brooks Dye Works in St. Werburghs, Bristol (106 units) and large rural schemes for Lindon Homes near Long Ashton (103 units for phase 1) and Stonewater at Northwick Farm near Worcester (62 units).
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been working with us on the development of their Urban Cricket Centre Concept, designed to bring playing opportunities to some of the most deprived post codes across East London, Birmingham and Bradford. The opening of the first site in East London is scheduled to coincide with the Cricket World Cup 2019.
Halsall Construction continue to be a great supporter with design for projects completed at Silver Street in Willand and Station Road in Castle Carey. In Swindon we have been working with the football club’s community trust to bring about the construction of a new pavilion building to support their new artificial turf pitch at the County Ground site. In Malvern we have just secured planning consent for fourteen homes for c-t-s Construction and Broadway Heritage Ltd on the edge of a local conservation area in the grounds of a former convent.
It only remains for me on behalf of the Directors to express our warmest thanks to the staff, clients and fellow consultants who have made 2018 the most successful in our now 31 year history!
Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all.
gcp chartered Architects
A feasibility study to explore potential redevelopment options for the David Murray John Building, an iconic 21 storey 1970’s tower block in the centre of Swindon situated above the Brunel Shopping Centre. Known as the Number One Wonder of Swindon, originally designed and built by the local authority, the building has over 3,500 sq metres of office accommodation on floors 2 to 13 and 72 flats from floors 14 to 21 flats. The office accommodation has been vacant for several years, the cladding has come to the end of its economic life and the services installations needs a major overhaul.
The study investigates a range of interventions including complete recladding and a wide range of alternative uses. The report sits with the council awaiting further instruction.
gcp are working for specialist contractor Rateavon on this is an external restoration project for two early 1960’s Bristol City Council tower blocks in sight of St Mary Redcliffe. This scheme includes window replacement, new roofing and complete redecoration.
Working within the constraints of two adjacent conservation areas, colour options to change the identity of the blocks away from established colour palette normally associated with affordable housing in the city have been carefully considered and discussed with the council’s conservation and planning officers before offering then to residents for comment.
Spencer and Norton are the 6th set of tower blocks we have worked on in the city since 2015 and over that time we have developed a detailed understanding of the issues associated with refurbishing these iconic buildings.
A planning application will be made before end of 2018 and works started October 2018 and are scheduled for completion by November 2019.
Our latest rural housing scheme was handed over this week at Mark, Somerset.
The 10 new homes for South Western Housing Society are located on the edge of the village and form a lovely courtyard development providing a range of homes that include bungalows, houses and apartments, to cater for a range of housing needs.
The development is already fully let to people from the local area - excited to be moving in to these light and spacious homes. The development has been constructed by EG Carter Construction with a really excellent standard of finish. The homes have heating and hot water provided by Ground-Source Heat Pumps; which will keep energy costs to a minimum.
This development provides an excellent benchmark for affordable rural housing.
Southmead Development Trust invited architects and design teams to register their interest in taking part in a limited design competition for the redevelopment of the Glencoyne Square area of Southmead.
gcp Chartered Architects teamed up with Alec French Architects and McGregor Coxall Landscape and Urban Design Consultants to prepare a strong submission from Bristol-based design companies. The team was one of four shortlisted practices selected to develop their ideas through to a public and stakeholder consultation carried out over three days last week. This exercise created good interest from stakeholders and the local community, where there is an enthusiasm to support change and develop new facilities around the Glencoyne Square area. This exciting project could have wide-ranging benefits, supporting community organisations, local shops and traders, creating opportunities for new housing and community facilities and regenerating the infrastructure of the area.
All four design teams were challenged to explain and justify their ideas and approach. Southmead Development Trust are expected to announce a preferred design team to move forward for the next stage of the project that will include detailed consultation and planning applications.
Our project for 6 new family homes at Othery Somerset, was handed over in December and is now occupied. A rural exception scheme located adjacent to a busy road on the edge of the village, the development was granted planning in July 2016 after extensive consultation with the Parish Council and Local Planning Authority. An innovative construction method was used in the construction and following completion of highway improvements, the houses were constructed swiftly to a high standard by Man Green Solutions.
gcp developed early energy modelling and assisted in developing an innovative solution to energy efficiency in the new homes which include high performing building fabric combined with simple systems for heating and hot water. The innovative ‘Velox’ Insulated Concrete Formwork construction system means the homes are highly insulated and achieve an airtightness of 0.99 m3/m2/h – well above the standards of conventional construction. As a result, heating demand is minimised, making simple electric heating efficient and cost effective.
Each home is provided with a large Photovoltaic array at roof level, providing free electricity for heating and hot water. The house systems include smart energy management and battery storage to ensure all energy generated by the Photovoltaic panels will be used in the home (rather than being exported to grid as is common). This means the tenants will enjoy warm and comfortable homes and should have near zero energy costs for heating and hot water.
South Western Housing Society will monitor costs and performance of the homes and it is hoped this project could be a model for more low energy homes for the future.
Our latest PassivHaus project, a private house in an exposed location at Dundry completed first stage airtightness testing before Christmas. This is a key stage for PassivHaus projects, testing airtightness on the building envelope before starting second fix. Ensuring the building is adequately airtight at this stage should ensure that final airtests are likely to be achieved.
The PassivHaus requirement is 0.6 ac/h. Testing carried out by Paul Jennings of ALDAS showed the building flew through this stage, achieving 0.3 ac/h - a testament to the (self-build) client’s attention to detail and the robustness of the ICF construction method.
gcp has submitted a planning application for 16 affordable dwellings in Oldbury Court, Bristol, where we are working in partnership with Dribuild Ltd and United Communities Housing Association Ltd.
The proposed buildings are located on the site of a former community centre which has been derelict for a number of years.
We have produced some great CGi’s which is a service we are able to provide in house. Please contact us for more details.
The Public Consultation event at Brent Knoll last week was well attended. gcp were on hand to explain initial proposals and listen to local community members concerns. Our task now will be to come up with detailed proposals that address as many of the issues raised as possible to produce a development of low cost homes for local people.
Recently completed, Margaret Bondfield Close in Pilton received some important visitors this week. Michael Eavis and Jeremy Corbyn toured the site and met new residents to look around the houses and give the scheme their seal of approval. Land for the development has been provided by Mr Eavis, along with local stone from Worthy Farm quarries. The development provides 13 affordable homes for local families, developed by Guinness Partnership and constructed by EG Carter Construction. All the visitors were impressed by the size, quality and character of the homes designed by gcp Chartered Architects to reflect the character and typical details of Pilton Village. gcp worked closely with Guinness Partnership and EG Carter through the Public Consultation, Planning and Construction stages of the project.
gcp director Colin Powell supported South Western Housing Society and Man Green Solutions showcasing our scheme at Othery this week. The scheme, currently under construction, is being built using an innovative construction system from Austrian Manufacturer Velox. This is our fourth project using Insulated Concrete Formwork – a system we believe can deliver very low energy and high quality homes with a speedy construction. The project will deliver 6 new affordable homes with extremely low energy bills, that are comfortable and easy to run. The construction system was explained by Man Green’s Director Ian Bartlett and his site team who will be delivering the completed homes by the end of the year. The invited audience of Housing Associations and Developers were all very impressed with the robustness and simplicity of the construction system and we expect to see more projects being developed with this innovative approach.
Jon enjoyed a balloon flight over Bristol on the Bank Holiday weekend – he even managed to snap some pictures of gcp projects from the air !
Here are a few pictures taken at Public Consultation on Saturday. The project is Oldbury Court where we are working on a scheme with Dribuild and United Communities. The consultation was held at Brunelcare, Colliers Garden opposite the site.
Handing over at Cotford St Luke, Taunton; the first tenants cut the ribbon on their new homes.
gcp worked with South Western Housing Society and Kier Living to design and deliver 28 affordable homes on this sensitive site. The opening was attended by Local and Parish Councillors and SWHS Board Members.
Feedback on the design was very positive. Particular features commented on were: spacious design, positive relationships to neighbouring properties and integration into the structure and character of Cotford.
Our Torpoint project for Knightstone Housing has now been certified to meet the AECB Silver standard. This low energy building standard uses PassivHaus methodology and overall energy targets with a some flexibility on airtightness to make the standard more accessible. We would recommend AECB Silver to clients as a really useful first step in the learning process towards delivering PassivHaus levels of energy efficiency.
Achieving the standard on this project was particularly challenging due to the complex building section – necessary on the steeply sloping site – so congratulations should also go to Kier Living for their persistence and hard work in achieving an airtightness of 1.1 ac/hr.
More information on the project is available at the Low Energy Building Database.