Scheme Summary

The scheme consists of 33 houses developed by Harlow Park Housing Co-operative, in partnership with CDS Housing Association. The scheme was built in 2 phases and provides homes built to a high environmental standard that engender resident 'ownership'. Completed 1998.

Scheme Details

The scheme developed from the needs of a group of Liverpool Council residents who were living in run down maisonettes, in Toxteth. They had been campaigning for improved housing for some years. However, they did not want to leave their community. The solution was to devise a redevelopment proposal.

By working closely with CDS the residents formed a co-operative and secured Housing Corporation funding in 1996. Together with architects from Architype, a scheme was developed to meet residents' needs, which included designing 23 new homes in Phase 1. The second phase by local architects, Parry Boardman and Morris, made use of a prefabriacated panel system for the design of the final 10 houses. Each home has a private garden but is focused around a communal courtyard.

All homes are built to have a lower environmental impact with material source sustainability and lifecycle implications taken into consideration. The homes are characterised by:

  • low embodied energy construction
  • sustainable sourced prefabricated timber frame construction:
    Phase 1 - 'Masonite' I beam and board construction;
    Phase 2 - Fillcrete's Tradis system
  • breathing construction walls
  • high levels of cellulose insulation (recycled newspaper).
  • natural ventilation
  • low energy light fittings
  • timber frame double glazed windows
  • clad in recycled bricks
  • naturally treated timber
  • paints and stains are based on natural pigments.
  • formaldehyde and CFC free, with zero ozone depletion potential.
  • internal materials create a healthy environment.
  • greywater recycling (sponsored by North West Water).
  • low flush 6 litre WCs
  • spray taps and showers over baths
  • water butts
  • recycling bins

One resident agreed to gas convector heating (all that is necessary due to energy efficient design reducing heat demands significantly). Other residents requested a conventional 'wet' radiator system. This is the legacy of living in cold, damp and draughty homes for so long.

Water conservation was an important consideration for low income households. The range of measures set out above will reduce water consumption and water bills. The water recycling systems are installed in some of the housing and are being monitored.

A 'cathedral' roof system has enabled the roof space to be used as living space, improving the space standards of the homes. Being built to Lifetime Homes Standard provides flexibility with room layout. It allows for the future provision of a downstairs bedroom, shower in the downstairs cloakroom and is wheelchair accessible.

Space around the homes is landscaped to provide open space exclusive to the residents and improve the local ecology.

Costs and Monitoring

The average building cost per unit on Phase 1 was 51,159 and on Phase 2 57,222, including landscaping. The cost per m2 for Phase 1 was 658 and for Phase 2 680. The whole project was funded by Social Housing Grant and private finance.

CDS's aim was to include as many green elements as possible within "normal" build costs plus 2.5% and thereby create a replicable scheme within feasibility limits and without additional funding.

An average SAP of 100 and an overall NHER of 10 was achieved for the development.

Monitoring of water and energy efficiency is being carried out to establish actual savings. It is expected that 30% water savings should be made - a cost saving of just under 100. Heating and lighting use is expected to be reduced by 25%.

Developer's Comments

CDS have aimed to deliver its commitment to sustainability in housing by involving residents in the design and development process.

This approach ensures that residents take ownership of the idea of sustainability. It mirrors the recommendation of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the principles of Local Agenda 21 - which call for greater involvement of communities.

The experiences and lessons learned from this development are to be used to build more sustainable homes in the future.

Contact: Inger Leach, CDS Housing Association, Baltimore Buildings, 13-15 Rodney Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9EF
Tel: 0151 708 0674 Fax: 0151 709 1498