Case Study

Working with Watford Community Housing

September 2, 2021

Six former garage sites in Hemel Hempstead have been repurposed to provide new homes to be let at 80 per cent of market rate.

The development programme aims to improve accessibility to modern, energy-efficient housing for those unable to afford to rent or buy a home on the open market.

In response to the total, Watford Community Housing will deliver 29 homes in the area, with Dacorum Borough Council contributing up to 30 per cent of the total cost in grant funding.

Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Housing, Margaret Griffiths, met with Tina Barnard, Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing to celebrate the completion of Page House in Hemel Hempstead, one of the six sites being developed into much-needed new homes.

They were joined by Andy Bugler, CEO of the project’s main contractor, Bugler Group Ltd, and Simon Horn, Technical Development Manager, Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

Page House, on the corner of Cupid Green Lane and Yeomans Ride, is now home to two new two-bedroom maisonettes with off-street parking, external storage for residents and a shared garden space.

Representatives of Watford Community Housing, Bugler Group, Stewart Milne Timber Systems and Dacorum Borough Council met with resident Nicoleta to wish her the best in her new home.

Speaking to the representatives, Nicoleta said: “I’m very grateful for this beautiful home, which offers me a new start in this period of my life.”

Page House was built using innovative timber frame construction techniques, to help reduce the environmental impact of the new homes.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems provided off-site manufactured timber frames, which allowed the homes to be built quickly and efficiently, using more sustainable materials.

It also benefits from enhanced insulation values, making the homes energy-efficient and helping the residents to save money on their energy bills.

Speaking at the event, Tina Barnard, chief executive of Watford Community Housing, said: “It’s lovely to see Nicoleta and Zayn so happy in their new home.

“This is a perfect example of how the regeneration of these older, unused sites can create first-class properties that the local community can be proud of.

“We are continuing to work on other sites across the Hemel Hempstead area and we’re looking forward to welcoming more local residents to their new homes over the months ahead.”

Andy Bugler, CEO, Bugler Group added: “It was a pleasure to attend today’s completion ceremony at Cupid Green Lane and wish the new residents many happy years in their new homes.

“We very much enjoyed working alongside Watford Community Housing and Dacorum Borough Council on this ongoing regeneration programme and look forward to working together and further cementing our excellent partnership on many future schemes.”

Cllr Margaret Griffiths said: “Dacorum Borough Council is delighted to be working in partnership with Watford Community Housing to provide high quality affordable housing for our residents.

“Page House is a great example of this, and we trust the new residents will be very happy in their new homes.”

With four two-bedroom houses on Rucklers Lane and two two-bedroom flats on Cupid Green Lane already occupied, Watford Community Housing aims to complete the four remaining sites by December 2022, delivering 29 new homes for affordable rent.

Case Study

Saxon Reach, Milton Keynes

September 15, 2020

L&Q set out to ensure high standards of product and low rates of repair and were reassured by our development designs, produced using our unique Design Standards of Excellence (DSE), our unique design guides creating variation within the development from within a structured framework which can be efficiently delivered.

  • L&Q are committed to procurement based on whole-life costs and low-carbon factors, a deciding factor in their decision to choose timber frame as part of their drive to embrace MMC.
  • L&Q’s USP on providing larger open plan living space has meant that on open plan narrower detached, semi-detached and end units portal frames needed to be introduced.
  • L&Q Counties are a new formed development division of L&Q Group – they have had a steep learning curve as timber frame was a new form of build for them.
  • The timber frame system brings superior insulation and guaranteed product quality which is being rolled out across a number of L&Q developments in the Counties.
  • All homes come with a 10-year NHBC warranty and 2 years of L&Q Customer Care.
  • SIGMA II 140mm closed panel with factory fitted windows – the party wall cavities are fully filled with edge sealing to achieve a 0.0 uValue, W/(m2K)
  • The roofs are standard trusses, top hat trusses, as well as closed insulated roof cassettes.
  • Education and Training Modules – Stewart Milne Timber Systems have been educating the newly recruited individuals and rolling out our training modules to ensure the houses were designed in line with their USP, which is quality and space standards.

Case Study

Paintworks, Bristol

August 18, 2020

Key Facts

  • PROJECT: Crest Nicholson Paintworks Exemplar Project
  • LOCATION: The site is located adjacent to the existing Paintworks development, on the River Avon, in Bristol
  • CLIENT: Crest Nicholson
  • SIZE: Paintworks is a mixed-use development in Bristol with the scheme comprising of the re-development of a 2.47 hectare brownfield site, and the creation of 11 live / work units, 210 houses and apartments and 6,700sqm of commercial floor space. The Crest Nicholson Paintworks Exemplar Project with Stewart Milne Timber Systems consisted of 96 units, split into 8 terraces of houses and 4 Blocks of Flats, with the timber frame element being an order value of circa £1.2m
  • TIMING: 18 Months

Type and size of project

Based in the heart of Bristol’s Creative Quarter, the original paintworks site was built in 1850 and used as a Victorian paint and varnish factory. This tight inner city site required speed and quality of build to deliver the project on time and within budget.

The development was to include a mixture of high rise concrete frame structures, including residential apartments and commercial accommodations, and timber frame townhouses with a high specification of external and internal features. As the scheme focused on the use of cycle routes and pedestrian links, logistical access to the units had to be accounted for in the project. There was also a requirement for the project to meet CSH4 and BREEAM Very Good standards, with a key focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

Crest Nicholson, one of the UK’s leading residential property developers, appointed Stewart Milne Timber Systems to provide technical and operational support to design, manufacture, supply and erect timber build systems for the project.

The exemplar project phase had a start date of late September 2015.

Description of project

To address the construction needs, sustainability objectives, and on-site challenges of the project, a timber frame solution was utilised that involved small panels and loose joists that could be pre-loaded into position and then manually erected. This addressed the challenge of only one crane being available on-site, by minimising the “hook time” on this single crane. If large panel, floor and wall cassettes were utilised, additional cranes would have been required, which this tight inner city site could not accommodate.

A key driver in the specification of timber as the central construction method, was to meet the objective of reducing energy consumption. The low carbon credentials provided by a timber fabric construction contributed towards achieving this objective, along with speed and efficiency and the ability to work within the constraints of the phased occupation of the site.

In addition to energy efficiencies, the use of off-site construction with Stewart Milne Timber Systems brought several benefits to this project. The access limitations of the site for material offload and distribution meant that a panelised timber solution minimised site deliveries. This enabled a just-in-time delivery of timber panels and cassettes to be loaded directly into the working area, rather than composite traditional materials being double handled.

The overall cost of the project in timber frame was also very competitive due to speed of build and control of work in progress. Utilising Stewart Milne Timber Systems solutions ultimately enabled the buildings to be constructed quickly and safely ahead of programme, without compromising on quality. The timber frame construction method also enabled greater cost certainty when benchmarked against masonry composite building materials.

This exemplar project by Stewart Milne Timber Systems was completed in late March 2017.