Aluk specified for lifetime homes at orchard village to meet current and future occupancy needs

The former Mardyke Estate in Rainham, east London, has undergone a substantial transformation to make way for a new residential development, Orchard Village.

Circle Housing has invested £80million to redevelop the old housing estate, creating 555 new homes to meet local affordable housing needs. Designed by PRP Architects and developed in its entirety by Willmott Dixon, the project specified AluK aluminium curtain walling, window and door systems throughout all four phases, three of which have been completed.

To make way for the new housing, most of the original estate, including 6 high rise blocks, was demolished and replaced with new low rise homes. From the construction phase 1 in 2010 up until completion of phase 3 in 2014, the project adhered to the Building Regulations at the time and met Code for Sustainable Homes level 4. The design brief also required all homes to comply with Lifetime Homes standards which are based on inclusivity, accessibility, adaptability, sustainability and good value. The aim of the standards are to make homes flexible enough to meet the changing needs of current and future occupants.

AluK SL52 curtain walling, 58BW TBT (tilt before turn) window, 58BD balcony door and GT55 TB commercial entrance door systems were specified for each project phase. In the case of windows and doors, Lifetime Homes require that occupants have a reasonable line of sight from a seated position in the living room, and the use of at least one window for ventilation in each room. The AluK 58BW TBT window and 58BD balcony door systems were designed with the tilt turn handles below 1200mm from the finished floor to meet accessibility requirements. To meet security requirements, all windows and doors complied to the Secured By Design (SBD) initiative, with the GT55 TB commercial door systems integrating electric strike access with key fob entry. The AluK GT55 TB is believed to be the first aluminium commercial door system to be SBD accredited.

The AluK systems specified have slim sightlines and profile sizing to meet bespoke design requirements. The aluminium profiles are thermally broken, providing the homes with energy efficiency qualities that comfortably exceed the current Building Regulations Part L1A minimum U-Value of 2.00 W/m²K.

The redevelopment will include 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed apartments and houses. The design of Orchard Village has a new community square at its centre, which will bring together community facilities, retail and commercial space, transport links and recreational opportunities. Phase 1 comprises of 121 new homes with a design mainly comprising of brick buildings with standard punch-hole windows. Phase 2 and 3 of Orchard Village saw a total of 265 homes built with a design combining coloured cladding panels and render walls to produce a modern, contemporary look.

Alongside the construction of new homes, landscaping was an integral part of the regeneration masterplan. The newly created spaces include courtyard gardens with play areas, a park, streets with shared surface areas and a new hub space, to be used by the whole community. The design also includes an orchard sculptural giant fruit and playable island features. The paving surfaces follow a linear pattern echoing the route of a nearby stream.

In addition to the homes and external spaces, the development also encompasses a central energy centre incorporating renewable energy measures to provide residents with a community heating and hot water system to help alleviate fuel poverty.

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