TOTAL COST
£21m
COMPLETED
2012
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS
People

Project Description

Alexander National House had formerly been used as a hotel with surrounding light industrial units before it was bought by the Council to provide bedsit accommodation for local residents. As the 10-storey tower block began to fall into disrepair, the Council assessed the costs of bringing the existing building up to Decent Homes standard, and concluded it would be more cost-effective to redevelop the site in its entirety. The project to renew the Alexandra National House site was adopted as part of the Hackney Six Estates regeneration programme and demolition commenced in 2007. However, the project then became stalled as a result of the restricted funding following the banking crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession. The Council was committed to delivering the promised improved living conditions to the local community and selected Lovell as construction partner based on our previous successful delivery of similar schemes and our innovative land-swap initiative to get the project moving. Scope of Works The works comprised the construction of 109 new properties, 67 for affordable rent and 42 for private sale. The design ensured the previous bedsits were replaced with much-needed family accommodation which included 36 one-bedroom flats, 37 two-bedroom flats, 28 three-bedroom flats and 8 four-bedroom flats. The works also included the creation of a community space within the ground floor of Villa 3 for training and community group meetings, along with all the associated landscaping, car parking, refuse storage and alterations to an existing sub-station. Although none of the dwellings

Responsible business

People

People

The commitment to achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 rating was a major concern for our clients. We worked with their project team to analyse the alternative renewable technologies available and decided upon a solution which would deliver lower running costs to residents and lower maintenance costs to Hackney Homes.

In line with our tried and tested sustainability strategy, we worked on a ‘fabric first’ basis and utilised energy-efficient building materials to reduce the need for additional heating or cooling. We installed energy and water-saving devices such as low-e light fittings and flow-regulators to taps and showerheads to minimise waste water. To provide the required 20% renewables, we installed photovoltaic panels to the roofs of all five villas with support coming from air source heat pumps. We also promoted ecological enhancement of development through the creation of bio-diverse roofs interspersed with roof terraces. These reflected the parkland feel of the area and drew inspiration the neighbouring Finsbury Park. It allows all residents of the new villas to enjoy the park atmosphere right outside their homes. The innovative design of the new Finsbury Park Place development led to it being short-listed for the Housing Design Awards 2011.

Community Engagement

We appreciated the importance of promoting local labour to our clients and the community. We were fortunate to have a long-established relationship with the Council and local companies through our 6-year Decent Homes programme. This allowed us to employ pre-approved local supply-chain partners across the project.

We worked with the ‘On Site Hackney Construction Recruitment Centre’ to engage local labour and committed to employing two apprentices at the site throughout the works.

As the site was close to the Parkwood Primary and nursery schools, our community liaison and safety teams met regularly with teachers to arrange safety talks and fun days for local children and their families.

The Six Estates regeneration programme was led by a Steering Group of residents which took an active role in shaping the kind of homes that were built. We met with representatives of the Steering Group at monthly meetings to ensure we were continuing to address any concerns as they arose.


Challenges

Stalled funding due to the banking crisis in 2008, we were able tovercome with with a cross-subsity funding model.


Testimonials

“The sites are all very well run. There is a really good feeling when visiting the site [and] there is an openness about costs and no attempt to increase costs without justification... [overall] Lovell is a very customer-focused organisation”

Alistair Gaskin, Chief Consultant
London Borough of Hackney