Greenwich Social Housing

Client: Greenwich Builds/ Royal Borough of Greenwich | Location: London | Size: 230 homes across 11 sites | Status: Batch 1A (16 homes) complete

Awards:  Winner – 2020 EG Property Award, Shortlisted – 2022 Housing Design Award, AJ Architecture Awards – Housing & AJ100

Project Team: Architects – ShedKM, Main Contractor – Elkins Construction Ltd

BCAL are appointed as Landscape Architects for this ground-breaking 100% affordable social housing scheme for Greenwich Builds. The first 11 sites involve over 200 homes, which are all being delivered as modular units, built off-site by Ideal Modular Homes, Mod Pods and Rollalong Ltd

BCAL have worked closely with the team to handle all aspects of the landscape elements of the scheme including representing landscape matters at public consultation, planning committees, design review panels, discharge of planning conditions, tender packages, construction/ as-built packages and site inspection.

Planning History:

The sites all individually respond to London Plan Policy H2: Small Sites and demonstrate how small, underutilised garage sites can be adapted to fulfil housing needs across London and beyond. The new homes all exceed the Nationally Described Space Standards and achieve a betterment to carbon neutral. The schemes were all approved at Planning Committee in Q1 2020.

The scheme in more detail:

The scheme provides for many of the families and individuals most in need of housing in the area and delivers significant improvements to the existing public realm with additional or improved space for play and recreation, for the benefit of new and existing residents alike. All homes are designed to achieve net zero and are built using volumetric modular offsite modern methods of manufacture and utilise timber frame construction.

A key aspiration was to challenge design stereotypes of socially rented housing, focusing on quality and generosity of inside space. Despite the constrained nature of the infill sites, homes have been designed with large, picture windows to maximise natural light. Living areas and bedrooms have been designed with views connecting to the gardens and communal outdoor areas. Window arrangements, tree planting and adjacencies to pavements strike a balance between individual privacy and connections to the street.

Designs maximise private amenity and play space, with front and rear private gardens, as well as new, improved landscaping and lighting. Improved public realm links the houses, which are set back from the main residential road. Materials have been used to create a fresh contemporary presence whilst being sensitive to the surrounding context.

At Strongbow Road, specialist foundation details allowed for the retention of two large mature Hornbeam trees to the front of the site giving a welcoming sense of place to the streetscape. At Bowness Close, 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. Pulteney Mews has been activated through a new planted pedestrian priority street, improving new connections with existing facilities in the local neighbourhood.

Union Wharf

Year of Completion: 2017

Client: Essential Living

Project Team: BCA Landscape

Working closely with Essential Living and architects Assael, an extensive new public realm including creekside walkway and terraces was developed in collaboration with the Creekside Trust environmental charity, who are managing the terraces for Essential Living.
A children’s nursery, pocket park and extensive private residential amenity at podium level and 5 separate roof-top terraces make this a family-friendly development.
BCAL worked closely with interior designers Woods Bagot and lighting designers Studio Fractal to create a co-ordinated amenity design inside and outside the buildings.
Extensive green walls, green and brown roofs and the inter-tidal terraces combine with the carefully chosen wildlife-friendly ground level planting to give a major enhancement to the area’s biodiversity.

Vantage Point

Year of Completion: 2016

Client: Essential Living

Project Team: BCA Landscape

Working closely with Essential Living, Architects GRID and interior designers Woods Bagot, the top of the building was transformed into a communal amenity facility with a wide range of indoor and outdoor opportunities for work, rest and play to help foster a sense of community and collective endeavor.

Externally there are growing areas, an outdoor kitchen, extensive seating including loungers and a range of planting habitats which creates a sheltered haven for people and wildlife. Subtle lighting extends the period of use into the evenings and external materials compliment the architecture and interiors.

Spaces were designed to be sub-divided for private exclusive hire and wi-fi boosters and power were provided to allow use of lap-tops for working from home.

BCA Landscape and Build to Rent in brief

We have been involved in the build to rent sector since 2014, providing landscape architectural consultancy services for innovative developers and architects whose logos appear opposite.

We know landscape brings people and communities together, working with the internal amenity spaces to create that stronger sense of community and of belonging to something special with its own sense of place.

Our work delivers green and blue infrastructure, which helps to:

    • Increase biodiversity net gain.
    • Achieve the required Urban Greening factor.
    • Improve mental health and well-being.
    • Move towards net zero carbon outcomes.
    • Improve air and water quality.
    • Reduce flood risks.
    • Assist with gaining credits under methodologies such as:
      • The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM)
      • The Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design Methodology (LEED)

We have delivered services on 3,111 Build to Rent homes, with another 700 well on the way.

Our expert team can be your one-stop-shop for all elements related to landscape architectural consultancy right the planning and design phase all the way through to the finishing touches, handover and post launch. We offer our services across the UK.

We have worked ‘client-side’ and novated to contractors, mastering the technical complexities of co-ordinating landscape and building elements with the wider design and construction team.

We can also integrate your build to rent project with the wider community ‘beyond the red line’ including development of artwork themes and interventions – either in-house or in collaboration with a wide network of artists and makers.

We ensure that the schemes we implement are robust and easy to maintain, keeping down service charges and cost-in-use for replacement when things wear out.

We can deliver you and your funders excellent metrics on all aspects of the green agenda.

We champion all aspects of the landscape design through the whole process from site feasibility to tenants moving in – and beyond!

We focus on maximising amenity provision and green infrastructure to make your development stand out from the crowd.

We are working with a number of clients to gather data that feeds into their ESG metrics with some interesting results including some projects that are carbon positive.

Blackhorse Mills, Walthamstow London

Budget: £3.3m

Project Team: BCA Landscape, ASSAEL

Blackhorse Mills is L&G’s flagship Build-to-Rent scheme of 479 new homes on the edge of the SSSI Walthamstow Wetlands. 1 Hectare of public realm and extensive private amenity on roof gardens, terraces, podiums and balconies with amazing views over the Lee Valley make this PRS scheme an extremely desirable place to live and visit.

Facilities include a heated swimming pool, tennis and shuffle-board courts, outdoor barbecue, children’s play area, 197 new trees and extensive new habitats all set in a virtually car –free, pet-friendly development.

BCAL have been involved from inception to completion, working closely with L&G, Architects Assael and Interior Designers Lister + lister.

“The design team has consolidated our brief into a development which meets the demands of today’s aspirationals, who are renting the whole building, the grounds, the service and the lifestyle- not just their apartment- and opens up the wetlands for the benefit of residents and the wider public” – Dan Batterton, Fund manager, BTR Legal & General