Creative building solutions

COLLABORATING WITH OUR PARTNERS TO IDENTIFY INNOVATIVE BUILDING TECHNIQUES AND DELIVER THE HOMES OF THE FUTURE

I’ve worked for Telford Homes for more than a decade on a range of mixed-used developments. Being a Project Manager on one of the first of our build to rent schemes for M&G Real Estate is hugely rewarding and an important milestone for the company and myself.

Rob Cameron, Project Manager

 

During the last year, our Innovation Forum has continued to investigate ways of optimising the layouts of our apartments and the way our buildings are constructed, with an ambition to implement 20 per cent of MMC across our projects. Depending on the scheme, the form of innovation may include cladding systems, pods, pugs and hybrid solutions. For the first time we have assessed our practices against the Modern Methods of Construction – Definition Framework. The Framework is an output of an MHCLG Joint Industry Working Group which was tasked with improving stakeholder education and understanding of MMC, with reference to enabling better access to mortgage finance, insurance and assurance.

We believe we are making good progress by investing in innovation and MMC. Through use of the framework across the construction industry, Telford Homes aims to contribute to knowledge-sharing and to develop robust data sets to inform our future developments. Our residential and mixed-use schemes will need to respond to varying client and customer expectations and the prevailing local character and neighbourhood. In some locations the potential to introduce high levels of optimisation may therefore be affected. With this in mind, our year-on-year application of MMC is not expected to follow a smooth upward trajectory in the short term.

The application of MMC is an important workstream in helping us to deliver operational efficiency across our business, albeit currently there is limited supply chain capacity to deliver at scale. Furthermore, Telford Homes is not envisaging setting up its own manufacturing facility.

During the reporting period, we have assessed four design, construction and project management platforms, with a new preferred solution being progressed beyond ‘proof of concept.’ This system has multiple operational benefits to future proof for BIM, improve construction delivery and deliver programme savings. Eight of our ten ‘Quick Win’ ideas have been completed, with the most improvements in Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) design, specification and implementation.

Current planning applications are incorporating either air or ground source heat pumps in response to the emerging London Plan. This will lower the capital’s reliance on gas, progress towards decarbonised electrified infrastructure, and bring many other benefits including improved air quality. Where a neighbourhood combined heat and power systems is available, such as in Stratford City, we will endeavour to connect and support such infrastructure as such transitional approaches provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the community.

At all projects we undertake Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), in partnership with our preferred consultant, Fairheat. This data has helped us achieve efficiencies in our M&E design, better inform a Telford Homes WLC model, support improvements to industry best practice guidelines, and prepare for emerging policies. By way of example, Gallions Point E16 demonstrates significant environmental and economic paybacks, including annual water and energy saving of 3061 litres and 94 kWh respectively, compared to current industry standards. Our work with Fairheat allows us to compare our actual energy consumption against our predicted use.

Since the abolition of the code for sustainable homes (CSH), we continue to evaluate the merits of market leading alternative assessment tools, so that sustainability performance can be consistently and transparently explained to all stakeholders in the project lifecycle. Noticeably our investment partners and their Investment Committees are far more engaged in this area, with the emphasis on WLC significantly increasing to improve the user experience and mitigate asset obsolescence.

At Carmen Street, we retrospectively undertook a Building Research Establishment (BRE) Home Quality Mark (HQM) gap analysis assessment. Positively, and despite the scheme being designed in 2015, a four-star rating (compared to a maximum five-star) would be achieved with minor changes to our typical approach. We are also delighted that the Mosque, at Bow Garden Square, E3 received a BREEAM Excellent rating.

In the last year we commenced the development of BREEAM and HQM trackers to help us better understand and achieve ‘Excellent & Outstanding’ and ‘four and five star’ ratings for the respective assessments. These approaches will help us future proof our offering, provide a better customer experience and to drive operational efficiencies. 

Being part of TCC and CBRE has resulted in greater exposure to their experience of the WELL standard, which is gaining more significance in both the UK and the US. The guiding principles of this standard will be integrated even in schemes where it is not directly specified. Accordingly, during 2020 we will upgrade our BLL toolkit and agree with clients how specific criterion are integrated into our BtR offer.

CBRE’s experience of refurbishing their London Headquarters, Henrietta House, towards a Platinum WELL Standard certification, and their clients’ schemes targeting WELL Outstanding, will provide valuable insight for Telford Homes. We also continue to develop our knowledge and provide data to our parent company for indices such as the Dow Jones sustainability index, GRI and GRESB.

We continue to believe in the importance of advocacy, particularly considering the challenges that this decade brings for our sector. Therefore we are collaborating with peers, policy makers and with membership organisations including:

  • HBF – on their National Technical and Sustainability Committee, the Tall Building and Waste Groups and the Future Homes Standards Group;
  • NextGeneration – enables a wide stakeholder community to understand the sustainability of homebuilders’ operations and the new homes they build;
  • NHBC – on their Construction Quality and Foundation Expert Panels, and the Standards Committee;
  • SCSS – on their Homes, Horizons and Offsite Groups;
  • Tree Design Advisory Group – helping promote the role of the urban forests;
  • UKGBC – to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment.

We continue to monitor the performance of the homes built during the last year and are delighted to report the following:

  • All our homes achieved an average Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) B rating and an average SAP of 85;
  • 100 per cent (target 50 per cent) of our new build schemes benefit from low carbon or renewable technologies;
  • Our residential schemes either achieved or are targeting a 40 per cent CO2 emissions improvement compared to 2010 Building Regulations; and are designed in accordance with the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Technical Guidance TM59;
  • On every project we undertake POE to help optimise systems performance;
  • 100 per cent of completed units have been connected to on-site renewables or low carbon community energy infrastructure, including district heating and on-site renewable energy generation system.

CARMEN STREET

Stock Woolstencroft Architect’s vision was for the residents to have excellent levels of space and light to provide positive wellbeing.

The development provides a high proportion of residential amenity space, communal gardens, public realm and 862m2 of commercial space. This results in a mix of uses and active frontages to enhance the adjacent Langdon Park DLR station concourse. 

Read all about Carmen Street