13 October.Henley bfl report

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13 October.Henley bfl report

  1. 1. ICE Architects Ltd. 1 Sans Walk London EC1R 0LT | t: +44 20 3215 0015 | www.iceICE Architects Ltd. 1 Sans Walk London EC1R 0LT | t: +44 20 3215 0015 | www.iceICE Architects Ltd. 1 Sans Walk London EC1R 0LT | t: +44 20 3215 0015 | www.iceICE Architects Ltd. 1 Sans Walk London EC1R 0LT | t: +44 20 3215 0015 | www.ice----architects.comarchitects.comarchitects.comarchitects.com Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council TSY DDQ/Design Quality Audit: Building for Life (BFL)TSY DDQ/Design Quality Audit: Building for Life (BFL)TSY DDQ/Design Quality Audit: Building for Life (BFL)TSY DDQ/Design Quality Audit: Building for Life (BFL) Development at Henley Rise Rotherham TP Application Reference: RB20RB20RB20RB2005/242105/242105/242105/2421 Developer: South Yorkshire Housing AssociationSouth Yorkshire Housing AssociationSouth Yorkshire Housing AssociationSouth Yorkshire Housing Association ICE07.116.340.008
  2. 2.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 This page is blank to facilitate back to back printing ICE Environmental Policy 2007 Objective 4: Reduce waste and make better use of material resources
  3. 3.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 IntroductionIntroductionIntroductionIntroduction As part of the TSY Design Audit & Action Plan review of planning practice and outcomes in the TSY area, a number of completed schemes in each authority are to be audited using the CABE Building for Life (BFL) Methodology. The intention is to gain some measure of the quality of residential design that results from the existing planning process in each authority. A random choice of a development was made. The selection criteria and process applied by the TSY Audit team to identify schemes for assessment was published in July 2007 (document reference: ICE07.116.350.001). In addition to the random selection each local authority was asked to nominate a scheme for assessment. Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) nominated the development of 23 3-bed houses at Henley Rise Rotherham. As the threshold for a BFL assessment is 20units – the scheme only just qualified for an assessment. The development was reviewed on the 6th September 2007 by the project team of ICE Architects and EPIC. The site of the scheme was visited and representatives of the client, the architect, and the project manager, RMBC planning department and RMBC HMR team all attended the site visit. RMBC provided paper copies of some of the application drawings and submission material on the wind turbines and other low energy aspects of the design. This material was used to complete the assessment and no design statement or any other material on the electronic file was consulted. The planning officer’s report to the planning board was not examined, nor any of the public or statutory consultations, as this information was not included in the paper file material received from RMBC. South Yorkshire Housing Association, a local RSL has developed the scheme. SYHA own internal architectural design resources prepared the design. The units attracted public subsidy not only for the construction of social housing for rent and shared equity, but also for the renewable energy elements provided as part of the design. The BFL standard was used in order to ascertain the design quality of the completed scheme as part of the TSY Design Quality Audit. Document StatusDocument StatusDocument StatusDocument Status The record of the assessment was issued as pat of the general publication of assessments on the publication of the project final report in June 2008.
  4. 4.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Development DataDevelopment DataDevelopment DataDevelopment Data (The source of the information is given in brackets). Date of Application: 21st December 2005 (RMBC Planning Approval), Date of Decision: 9th March 2006 (SCC Planning Approval), Period for Decision: 13 weeks 23 Houses (RMBC Planning Approval), Parking provision at 1 space per unit (Applicant’s Design drawings), Previous use of site – appeared to be open land/green belt? (Site visit), Planning Agreement payments made by developer: Not known Approval Conditions relating to design: none recorded in documents provided for assessment. General PointsGeneral PointsGeneral PointsGeneral Points The use of the BFL tool reveals in considerable detail the quality and nature of the drawn and written information submitted with the application. Although it was not clear if the applicant provided a design statement (none was provided in the file) – the application included three-dimensional views of the proposed scheme, large scale plans showing furniture arrangements, and street elevations. As noted in other assessments few applications included all of these drawn elements. Following the site visit it was clear that the site is next to open countryside and on one side of the site topography is a major issue. While the open space was clearly identified on the application drawings, the topography could not be understood from the application drawings. The absence of site sections (at least in the documents provided for assessment) is consistent with other applications assessed, though a notable omission on a scheme with generally a high quality of application material and with a steeply sloping site. The site location is east of the town centre next to an existing estate of housing some of which bellows to the applicant – South Yorkshire Housing Association. The site has the opportunity to have long views back over open countryside towards the town centre, though as noted above one side of the development is cut into the side of a steep slope, requiring extensive retaining structures. There is a public footpath to one side of the site; however the development is essentially a cul-de-sac, with a large turning head next to the public footpath. Informal parking spaces – though not shown on the application drawings, were in use at this end of the site next to the public footpath. The scheme was granted planning approval on the 9th March 2006, around 13 weeks after the application was validated. This would appear to be a benefit from preparing excellent application documents, though the amount of pre-application discussions is unknown.
  5. 5.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Extracts from Application DocumentsExtracts from Application DocumentsExtracts from Application DocumentsExtracts from Application Documents The following extracts are intended to given a general impression of the application documents – reference should be made to the RMBC archive file for more information. Given the time constraints of the audit and the availability of archive material, not all application information has been examined. Where appropriate the images have been annotated by the BFL assessment team. General Site Plan at 1:1250 ScaleGeneral Site Plan at 1:1250 ScaleGeneral Site Plan at 1:1250 ScaleGeneral Site Plan at 1:1250 Scale This site plan noted that the adjacent properties (edged in blue) are also owned and managed by SYHA the developer of the project.
  6. 6.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Site Layout PlanSite Layout PlanSite Layout PlanSite Layout Plan
  7. 7.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Site Layout (Larger scale rotated).Site Layout (Larger scale rotated).Site Layout (Larger scale rotated).Site Layout (Larger scale rotated).
  8. 8.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 House PlansHouse PlansHouse PlansHouse Plans Plan with first floor living area. Ground Floor plan – with living space on ground floor. Site SectionsSite SectionsSite SectionsSite Sections
  9. 9.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 No site sections were provided. Extracts from Elevations (Front & Rear)Extracts from Elevations (Front & Rear)Extracts from Elevations (Front & Rear)Extracts from Elevations (Front & Rear) Wind turbines were not constructed at date of site visit.
  10. 10.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 3D Views submitted with application3D Views submitted with application3D Views submitted with application3D Views submitted with application The street on site appears to be wider than set up in these views.
  11. 11.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Site context reviewSite context reviewSite context reviewSite context review The wider context of the site was examined using the Goole Earth internet tool as the application documents showed little of the surrounding urban context. Where appropriate the images have been annotated by the BFL assessment team.
  12. 12.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Scheme as constructed on siteScheme as constructed on siteScheme as constructed on siteScheme as constructed on site (View looking north north-east to open space) View from site (looking south south-west)
  13. 13.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Junction with adjacent housing (also manaJunction with adjacent housing (also manaJunction with adjacent housing (also manaJunction with adjacent housing (also managed by applicant)ged by applicant)ged by applicant)ged by applicant)
  14. 14.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Street ViewStreet ViewStreet ViewStreet View
  15. 15.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 View over open countryside to Rotherham Town Centre – from end of central street.
  16. 16.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 View north to the rear of the properties showing extensive retaining wall and sloping green space.
  17. 17.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 End property next to open space, (public footpath to left)
  18. 18.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 Junction between adjacent properties
  19. 19.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 The highway areas are more dominant in the constructed scheme that in the views presented with the original application. The original scheme appears to propose a fully shared surface (vehicles and pedestrians) for the whole scheme whereas the constructed scheme has footpaths for at least half of the entrance road. This may have been at the request of the highways consultation.
  20. 20.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 BFL AssessmentBFL AssessmentBFL AssessmentBFL Assessment The following notes set out the team’s evaluation of the criteria under the BFL 20 questions together with the evidence considered by the team in reaching an assessment for the development. As with the other BFL assessments and following the practice at the CABE BFL seminar in Birmingham on the 22nd June 2007 – a score of 0.5 was allowed where the scheme met some of the criteria set out in the question and CABE guidance documents. CharacterCharacterCharacterCharacter 1 Does the scheme feel like a place with a distinctive character?1 Does the scheme feel like a place with a distinctive character?1 Does the scheme feel like a place with a distinctive character?1 Does the scheme feel like a place with a distinctive character? Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes. • The timber and stone materials, the varied landscape treatment and the orientation of the street to open out onto the open countryside all contribute to a distinctive character. • The design with allows first floor living where there are long views also adds to the uniqueness of the scheme. • The varied roof profile and the orientation of gables to the main entry route are successful in creating a distinctive identity for the scheme. Score 1 2 Do buildings exhibit architectural quality?2 Do buildings exhibit architectural quality?2 Do buildings exhibit architectural quality?2 Do buildings exhibit architectural quality? To some extent.To some extent.To some extent.To some extent. • While the first floor living provides a generous space and long views the option of ground floor living is less attractive and the generosity of space available in the first floor option is not replicated in the ground floor living option. • The buildings have no windows at gable ends, understood at the site visit discussion to be a consequence of the system deployed for construction – which is a loss of amenity to the end properties and also means that some public spaces, the visitors parking are and the adjacent footpath are not overlooked. Score – 0.5 3 Are streets defined by a well3 Are streets defined by a well3 Are streets defined by a well3 Are streets defined by a well----structured building layout?structured building layout?structured building layout?structured building layout? YesYesYesYes • The scheme is relatively small at 23 units and arranged around a single street, though all units are visible and there is some variety in the orientation of individual houses to the roadway. Score – 1 4 Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?4 Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?4 Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around?4 Do the buildings and layout make it easy to find your way around? YesYesYesYes • Again the size of the scheme offers significant advantages, however the open views to the countryside beyond the scheme are a strong orientation cue. Score – 1
  21. 21.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 5 Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography?5 Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography?5 Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography?5 Does the scheme exploit existing buildings, landscape or topography? Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes. • Although the handling of the topography of the site behind the west side of the street looked both extensive and to have created some maintenance issues – the proposal to have first floor living to maximize long views is a strong design feature which exploits the existing landscape and topography. • The relationship with existing building appears on site to be poor – especially given that the applicant also owns and manages the adjacent buildings – the existing buildings very much appear the poor relations of the scheme, however it would probably have been difficult to successful relate any new scheme to these units which are of poor quality. • The successful orientation of the scheme to harness renewable energy while maintaining a strong relationship with the existing street pattern is a strong outcome of the design process. Score – 1 Roads, parking and pedestrianisationRoads, parking and pedestrianisationRoads, parking and pedestrianisationRoads, parking and pedestrianisation 6 Does the building layout take priority over the roads and ca6 Does the building layout take priority over the roads and ca6 Does the building layout take priority over the roads and ca6 Does the building layout take priority over the roads and car parking, so thatr parking, so thatr parking, so thatr parking, so that the highways do not dominate?the highways do not dominate?the highways do not dominate?the highways do not dominate? To some extent.To some extent.To some extent.To some extent. • The width of the access road on site appears to be wider that that presented in the 3D views made for the application. The latter shows a much more compact scheme where the buildings dominate the highway space – whereas this has not been fully achieved on site in the constructed scheme. • Highways are more dominant that could have been the case in a small scheme. Score – 0.5 7 Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly?7 Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly?7 Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly?7 Are the streets pedestrian, cycle and vehicle friendly? YesYesYesYes • The scale of the scheme and the short length of the road mean that the street environment is not extensive, however materials and hard landscape details are good and the scale of the scheme contributes to a friendly environment for all road users. Score – 1 8 Is t8 Is t8 Is t8 Is the car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?he car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?he car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene?he car parking well integrated and situated so it supports the street scene? To some extent.To some extent.To some extent.To some extent. • Although all of the parking is off the road, in some plots a parking space is provided in front of an adjacent property and in the view of the assessment team this could lead to a loss of amenity for the plot with neighbour’s cars parked to the front. • In many schemes audited as part of the work, numerous commercial vehicles were noted parked in residential developments and given that a mixed social community is the target – with both rented and shared ownership tenure options it is very likely that some households will have vans or commercial vehicles to park overnight. Where these had to be parked in front of neighbouring properties there could be more issues between adjacent properties than loss of amenity. • At the date of the site visit – though only around half of the properties were occupied there were some examples of on-street parking parallel to the road, rather than in designated bays. Score – 0.5
  22. 22.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 9 Does the9 Does the9 Does the9 Does the scheme integrate with existing roads, paths and surroundingscheme integrate with existing roads, paths and surroundingscheme integrate with existing roads, paths and surroundingscheme integrate with existing roads, paths and surrounding development?development?development?development? Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes. • Although as noted above there are some concerns about how the scheme relates to the existing houses on Henley Rise, the relationship with the adjacent roads and footpaths is clear and well designed. Score – 1 10 Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe?10 Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe?10 Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe?10 Are public spaces and pedestrian routes overlooked and do they feel safe? To some extent.To some extent.To some extent.To some extent. • The lack of gable windows at the end of the cul-de-sac and next to the footpath means that these areas are not overlooked and the design amendment required to provide such overlooking appears to be possible – though at the assessment the project manager for SYHA said that there were technical reasons why this was not done. • The ground floor sleeping and bathroom arrangements – while supporting the high quality spaces and views provided for the first floor living, come at the cost of a relatively blank façade at ground floor – bathroom and bedroom. As the living space is to the rear of the properties this means that there is limited overlooking of the main street from at least half of the units. • The public footpath and the pedestrian route to the bus stop through the adjacent estate – which deviates from the main road, did not feel safe. Normally this would not have been an issue for a scheme except that the adjacent houses are in the management and ownership of the applicant, and therefore might have been considered on a scheme, which is aiming to provide low energy living conditions. Score – 0.5 Design and ConstructionDesign and ConstructionDesign and ConstructionDesign and Construction 11 Is the design11 Is the design11 Is the design11 Is the design specific to the scheme?specific to the scheme?specific to the scheme?specific to the scheme? YesYesYesYes • The design has been specifically developed to create a new identity for the area and to utilize renewable energy technology. • The palettes of materials chosen are considered in the context of an edge of settlement – semi-rural location. Score – 1 12 Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management12 Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management12 Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management12 Is public space well designed and does it have suitable management arrangements in place?arrangements in place?arrangements in place?arrangements in place? YesYesYesYes • The public space if the main entrance street to the scheme. It is enlivened by a good choice of finishes and by the curved bin enclosures. Score - 1 13 Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as Building13 Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as Building13 Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as Building13 Do buildings or spaces outperform statutory minima, such as Building Regulations?Regulations?Regulations?Regulations? YesYesYesYes • The assessment team was given forecast data for the thermal performance of the units, which suggest that they exceed the current building regulation minima. • The application documents proposed that the scheme will be super-insulated. Score - 1
  23. 23.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 14 Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that14 Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that14 Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that14 Has the scheme made use of advances in construction or technology that enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness?enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness?enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness?enhance its performance, quality and attractiveness? YesYesYesYes • The scheme was constructed using a high degree of MMC predominately in timber panel construction. Score - 1 15 Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension?15 Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension?15 Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension?15 Do internal spaces and layout allow for adaptation, conversion or extension? NoNoNoNo • The cost of MMC is that units are difficult to extend and this in any case would be difficult where the living space is located on the first floor. • Representatives of the SYHA present at the assessment advised that the association would not permit resident modification of the units. Score - 0 Environment and communityEnvironment and communityEnvironment and communityEnvironment and community 16 Does the development have easy acc16 Does the development have easy acc16 Does the development have easy acc16 Does the development have easy access to public transport?ess to public transport?ess to public transport?ess to public transport? YesYesYesYes • The site is within 10minutes walking distance of a bus stop. • Local bus services are also understood to circulate through other parts of the Henley Rise estate. Score - 1 17 Does the development have any features that reduce it17 Does the development have any features that reduce it17 Does the development have any features that reduce it17 Does the development have any features that reduce its environmentals environmentals environmentals environmental impact?impact?impact?impact? YesYesYesYes • The application documents proposed the use of wind turbines, solar thermal hot water heating and photovoltaics. On site the hot water system was demonstrated. • The wind turbines had not been installed on the individual houses as proposed in the application documents because of technical issues of vibration and timber frame construction. Score - 1 18 Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community?18 Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community?18 Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community?18 Is there a tenure mix that reflects the needs of the local community? YesYesYesYes • The tenure mix was 50% rented and 50% shared equity, which responds to the context of wholly social housing within the operating parameters of an RSL. Score - 1 19 Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the19 Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the19 Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the19 Is there an accommodation mix that reflects the needs and aspirations of the local community?local community?local community?local community? YesYesYesYes • The RSL representatives at the assessment advised that there was a demand in the immediate area for affordable family housing. Around 50% of the units were occupied at the date of the site assessment even though the construction work was not quite complete. Score – 1
  24. 24.  ICE07.117.340.008 30 th October 2007 20 Does the development provide (or is20 Does the development provide (or is20 Does the development provide (or is20 Does the development provide (or is it close to) community facilities, such asit close to) community facilities, such asit close to) community facilities, such asit close to) community facilities, such as a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafés?a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafés?a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafés?a school, parks, play areas, shops, pubs or cafés? YesYesYesYes • A school and shops were within walking distance of the site. Score - 1 SummarySummarySummarySummary The scheme’s overall score is 17.5 (87.5%) as set out below: CriteriaCriteriaCriteriaCriteria ScoreScoreScoreScore 1 1 2 0.5 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 0.5 7 1 8 1 9 1 10 0.5 11 1 12 1 13 1 14 1 15 0 16 1 17 1 18 1 19 1 20 1 This is a ‘very good’ result using the BFL assessment model. Despite the scale of the scheme, which enabled a good score on orientation and well designed public space many design features have been added as a result of the client or design team’s initiative. Another scheme assessed in Rotherham as part of the present study achieved 3.5 points (17.5%) in the BFL assessment. It is a concern that in the same borough within one year of each other two schemes could achieve such divergent results using the BFL tool yet both receive formal planning approval from the planning board. Assessment TeamAssessment TeamAssessment TeamAssessment Team The assessment was carried out by Michael Rushe of ICE, and Len Gibbs of EPIC.

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