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greenwich housing

modular, sustainable and 100% affordable housing

This housing scheme is part of the borough’s ambitious plans to provide more than 750 high-quality, genuinely affordable homes – far below the private market rate at London Affordable Rent.

The scheme provides for many of the families and individuals most in need of housing and delivers significant improvements to the existing public realm with additional space for play and recreation, for the benefit of new and existing residents alike.

Constructed entirely from offsite methods of manufacturing, the scheme exceptionally benchmarks high environmental credentials.

shedkm, working with Elkins Construction, are delivering over 200 of the target number of homes, located at nine sites across the borough. A key aspiration was to challenge design stereotypes of socially rented housing, with a focus on the quality and generosity of inside space. Despite the constrained nature of both sites, each home has been designed with large, picture windows to maximise natural light and with simple, spacious and practical interiors. Living areas and bedrooms have been designed with views connecting to the gardens, communal outdoor areas, and wider site. Window arrangements, tree planting and adjacencies to pavements strike a balance between individual privacy and connections to the street.

Client:

Greenwich Builds/Royal Borough of Greenwich

Location:

London

Size:

  • 200 homes

Contract value:

N/A

Status:

Batch 1A (16 homes) complete

Awards:

Won: 2020 EG Property Award
Shortlisted: 2022 Housing Design Award, SECBE and AJ100

an exemplar of sustainable, social housing in terms of both delivery and operation

The scheme has been designed using modular offsite timber construction with each house being formed of two to four modules. Offsite construction has been a key component in achieving environmental targets, with homes designed and delivered to achieve beyond net-zero carbon in both construction and operation, and subsequent energy savings benefitting both tenants and the Borough. Other active measures include mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps.

The first 16 modular homes have already completed, split across four sites: Bowness Close; Strongbow Road; Pulteney Mews and Charles Folkard Mews and will be 100% for social rent.

bowness close

Bowness Close comprises two, two-bedroom houses on an existing, under-utilised garage site. Situated at the end of a slope, they are set lower than the homes at the existing crescent. The design maximises private amenity and play space, and the houses have been designed to maximise the amount of space on the site for the front and rear private gardens, as well as the inclusion of new, improved landscaping and lighting around the properties. Houses are set back from the main residential road and situated against the northern retaining wall running parallel to the Glenlea path. Beyond this is the Eltham bus and rail interchange, thereby improving connectivity to the wider, local neighbourhood.

Privacy is provided with a mixture of gated brick walls to external spaces, trees to the front to screen views in and out and angled windows at first floor level. A shared driveway provides defined parking areas and clear ownership.

Facades are restrained and elegant, with a variety of materials and details such as oriel windows to help address massing. The lightweight metal cladding to the upper storeys provides a sharp contrast to the soft landscaping.

strongbow road

Strongbow Road comprises two, two-storey, three-bedroom family houses on an existing underutilised garage site. The homes are a contemporary adaptation of the traditional 1930s semi-detached homes within the area. Both include private rear gardens, alongside planted areas at the front of the properties, which sit back from the existing street.

Specialist foundation details allowed for the retention of two large mature Hornbeam trees to the front of the site which add value and a welcoming sense of place to the streetscape. Modular construction minimised any site works near to the trees and meant that services could be run in the zone between them. Each house enjoys on-street parking and additional ground cover planting adds to the streetscape. Materials have been used to create a fresh contemporary presence whilst being sensitive to the surrounding context.

pulteney mews

Pulteney Mews consists of four three-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom homes. Charles Folkard Mews provides six two-bedroom homes. All homes are arranged around new planted mews streets, as well as all having private front and rear gardens.

The houses are all set lower than the surrounding context of 3-storeys at 2-storeys to reduce overlooking and overshadowing and to help the homes settle comfortably on the site. Existing footpaths and the garage court access road have been retained and resurfaced, with lighting improvements to create a safe pedestrian route and existing steps will be removed to create an accessible route for all residents. The new additions and improvements mean that the schemes provide a secluded, safe home environment with opportunities for doorstep, street and private garden play with the aim of fostering a new community.

charles folkard mews

At Charles Folkard Mews, the house materials vary between a dark grey fibre cement panel marking out entrances whilst living areas are celebrated in a bold red brick. This is again repeated at Pulteney Mews with the addition of a zinc cladding to the upper levels of the two two-bedroom houses. This unified approach to the sites along with the variation in roofscape and inclusion of projecting shrouds breaks down the massing of the houses and offers a rhythmic articulation that is both rigorous and playful.

The result is two schemes which have revitalised an underused garage site, providing high quality public and private realms alongside the new homes.

“seeing the first of this new generation of council homes completed is a great vindication of our ambitious greenwich builds programme. after too many years where councils were prevented from building new homes, we are proud that, together with exemplary partners like shedkm and elkins construction, we’re now able to deliver sustainable, high-quality, and truly affordable council homes for local people.”

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Royal Borough of Greenwich.