Client: Salford City
Services: Architectural, landscape and
interior design, quantity surveying, project management,
mechanical and electrical design, civil and structural
design, urban design, planning and building control,
geo-environmental and ecology, building surveying, CDM
co-ordinators, property management, clerk of works, acoustics
Contract Type: Strategic Partnership
Project Value: £13.5m
Start: October 2009
Completion: March 2011
With the HCA setting a tight pace, the
race was on for Urban Vision – Capita Symonds’ partnership with
Salford City Council - to complete 101 homes at ten sites in
The task was certainly a daunting one, but
when asked to squeeze four to five months work into a mere
fortnight, Urban Vision took to it with gusto.
The challenge began in late 2009 when the city
council was looking to make the most out of the Local Authority New
Build Scheme. Urban Vision was called in to provide a feasibility
study on some 16 brownfield sites across the city.
With feasible sites soon identified, the city
council asked Urban Vision to assist them in putting together a
full bid proposal to deliver to the HCA – all within two weeks.
Getting this right was critical since to stumble at this hurdle
would have compromised the entire development, but Urban Vision’s
team - working closely with Salford City Council - pulled it off to
secure approved bidding partner status with the HCA and win the
project £8.2 million of grant funding. With match funding from the
council taking the project budget up to £13.5 million, the stage
was set to begin turning aspiration into inhabited homes.
The brief was to deliver family sized homes,
built to Lifetime Homes Standard, along with wheelchair accessible
bungalows, all of them built to high environmental standards
(meeting Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes).
Initial designs created as part of this
planning process had to be developed into full working drawings,
alongside all the myriad preparatory details that went into getting
the schemes ready for go, including procurement issues, securing
building materials, and sorting out the logistics of managing the
project’s ten different sites simultaneously.
Partnership was an essential part of the
process, involving everyone around the table to work together to
find answers to problems, and by such an approach Urban Vision came
up with a neat twist on the standard delivery pattern – creating a
two-stage format for the delivery of designs. This enabled sites to
be mobilised before full detailed designs were completed.
Modern methods of construction were applied to
the scheme, not only to provide for a faster build time, but also
to enhance the environmental performance of the building, thereby
assisting in meeting the criteria for Level 4 of the Code for
The final flourish for achieving the 44 per
cent improvement in performance over the stipulated Building
Regulations was the installation of such measures as heat recovery
systems and solar thermal panels to help heat hot water. There are
also some ‘quirky’ tweaks to the designs across the sites, so that
each have something of their own character, such as the inclusion
of a wildlife habitat on one of the sites that enabled a
pre-existing population of greater crested newts to continue living
happily alongside their new human neighbours.
Given the demanding timescale, effectively
from October 2009 to March 2011, Urban Vision and its partners
pulled off a rapid fire delivery against the odds.
To see individual case studies of each
of the ten sites click below: