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    Southern Housing Group

    Value: Location: £11,291,000
    Form of Contract: Stepney Green Est, LB Tower Hamlets, London, E1
    Duration: JCT Design & Build Contract 2005 incorporating Amendment No. 1 March 2012 – March 2014

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Project Brief

Breyer Group were appointed to carry out the design and construction of 78 no. new homes together with 412 sq metres of ground floor commercial space as part of the redevelopment of the former Fulneck House Site at Stepney Green Estate, 150 Mile End Road, London, E1. The redevelopment will create a sustainable and vibrant addition to affordable housing in the Borough, whilst providing a genuine contribution to the regeneration of the local area.

Scope of Work

The original Fulneck House was built in the 1960s and was one of four residential blocks on the Stepney Green Estate in Tower Hamlets. The concrete and pointing were deteriorating and a new roof and windows were required, the layout of the blocks made poor use of the space for residential amenity and the buildings had a poor quality of appearance. Block 1 was successfully redeveloped in 2011; Block 2 remains insitu with minor external redevelopments; Blocks 3 & 4 are the current redevelopment of Fulneck House.

Southern Housing Group committed to regenerating the area and decanted their residents in order to facilitate redevelopment of the site, comprising of new high quality housing. The gross site area is 0.35 ha. This new development includes the provision of 21 no. 1 bedroom flats, 35 no. 2 bedroom flats, 16 no. 3 bedroom flats, 5 no. 4 bedroom flats and 2 no. 4 bedroom houses; with 5 commercial units on the ground floor level and the construction of under-croft car parking.

Works have included:-

  • A mixture of load bearing and contiguous piled foundations to provide basement retaining wall formation to create a basement, and as support for the new concrete frame structure over six floors. 
  • The basement accommodates plant and operating equipment for the development, as well as car parking facilities for estate residents.
  • Externally the building is predominantly masonry clad (with a metal internal skin) with yellow bricks but also incorporates a glass wall along the main elevation access walkways. The upper two levels are stepped back from the elevation line and have rain-screen cladding coloured boarding as the external wall finish.
  • Internally units are separated by formed walls using metalwork and plasterboard with a paint finish. External fenestration is by way of aluminium windows and doors.

Key Challenges

  • The site falls partly within the Stepney Green Conservation Area, which was designated in 1973. We have remained in constant liaison with the Conservation Officer and have supplied sample materials and products for approval.
  • Externally, the building is predominantly masonry clad (with a Metsec metal internal skin) with yellow bricks but also incorporates a glass wall along the main elevation access walkways. The upper two levels are stepped back from the elevation line and have rain-screen cladding coloured boarding as the external wall finish.
  • Internally, for the partition/party walls, we are using a metal partitioning system with plasterboard and a paint finish. External fenestration is by way of aluminium windows and doors.
  • The project was originally designed to deliver 100% general needs rented accommodation.
    However, during works SHG decided to unlock some of the sales potential of the scheme and adopted 2/3 general needs rented and 1/3 private sale units.
  • Accommodation of an existing Party Wall issue with an adjoining commercial property.
  • The existing concrete frame was programmed to be erected during the Travel Zone Restrictions in force during the Olympic Games 2012. Our procurement and site management teams worked collaboratively with the concrete frame contractor and LBTH Highways Authority in order to achieve this within the programme.
  • Due to the proximity to Mile End Road, which is an extremely busy direct route into the City of London, increased sound performance standards have been applied to the walls and windows/doors. Stepney Green and Mile End Road elevations had planning consent for triple glazed windows and through value engineering and design development, we agreed a cost effective double glazed alternative to the same high level sound specification at a fraction of the cost.

Delivery Targets

Completion is anticipated early in 2014.

Innovation & Sustainability

  • The scheme is to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and Lifetime Homes standard.

  • Photovoltaic units installed to all the flat roof areas provide electricity to common areas and landlord’s supplies including lift operation. Any surplus generation of electricity is sold back to the national grid network. The project is also heated through gas fired ‘Central Heating Plant’ located within the basement and individual heat recovery units to each dwelling.

Key Outputs

  • We maintained a working and living environment for the Residents of Gracehill, who have remained insitu during works, even though at times, we were working within 2 metres of the Gracehill building. This has been facilitated through a dedicated Resident Liaison Officer to communicate with the Residents of Gracehill along with wider community stakeholders, on a daily basis.
  • The communal areas link with other existing sections of the estate to form a community feel with visible and accessible recreational spaces together with off-road parking for the estate in a secure basement car park.
  • We have integrated the existing hard landscaping of Gracehill into the works.
  • We have installed a large number of Solar PV panels to the roofs with mechanical and plant utilising heat recovery units fitted in each property.