A brand new low carbon community is under construction on the site of a former air traffic control centre in West Drayton.
Drayton Garden Village is a 32-acre site that will consist of 773 residential properties, an 80-bedroom care home, a 10,000 square foot medical centre, a community centre and a 3,000 square feet energy centre with a combined heat and power station (CHP). The development will also include retail and office units, along with several public spaces.
A number of additional off-site highway improvements have also been incorporated, including new roads and upgraded traffic signals.
The community development is being constructed on the site of RAF West Drayton, formally the home of the National Air Traffic Services (NTAS). The site is located at Porters Way on land that was previously used for NTAS operated traffic control services for both civil and military aviation.
As the site will host a number of different facilities, construction work is being conducted in phases. The entire scheme is expected to be completed in 2016.
Inland Homes Plc purchased the site from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in December 2008 and immediately began preparation work for the planning application. This was followed by a strip-out and demolition operation throughout 2009, which involved the demolition of over half a million square feet of existing structures by Inland Homes Plc.
The total cost of the Drayton Garden Village project is £75 million and funding has been provided by a combination of share holder investments, bank financing and third party funding. Architects for the project are London based architects Metropolis and Inland Homes Plc’s in-house Planning and Design Director, Mark Gilpin.
The main infrastructure contract for the residential properties is being managed by Inland Homes Plc associate, Howarth Homes. The company is responsible for project managing the delivery of all key infrastructures on the site, such as roads, open spaces, footways, pedestrian and cycle links.
The energy centre is a joint venture between Inland Homes Plc and E.ON and involves the construction of a combined heat and power energy centre that has been designed to provide heating and hot water to all properties and facilities across the scheme.
Gold Care Homes has taken over the development of the 80-bedroom care home and construction will begin on this facility in early 2012. As of yet, no contractors have been appointed for the medical centre.
Inland Homes Plc Land Director, Paul Brett, said:
“In terms of a text book site, Drayton Garden Village would probably be a prime example. In terms of size it is one of the largest Brownfield sites in the M25 and although Inland Homes Plc is involved with a number of other regeneration sites in the southeast, we regard this as our flagship site.
“In 2011 we received a Land Award at the Sustain Magazine Awards for our sustainability work on the site and we’re extremely proud to see this becoming a high-achieving development for us and everyone involved. Hopefully Drayton Garden Village will receive more accolades in the future.”
Phase One includes the construction of the first set of affordable housing on the site, with the homes being provided by Howarth Homes under a Design & Build contract for Catalyst Homes. Of the 59 houses that will be released in March 2012, 40 will be made available for rent, whilst the remaining 19 will be offered to shared-ownership purchasers.
The houses consist of three, four and five-bedroom units that have been traditionally constructed using load bearing brick and block work. Some of the houses have been built on piled foundations and others have been built on trench strip foundations, with the majority of the homes featuring a brickwork exterior.
The architect for the first phase of housing is Ashby Design, whilst engineering works are being conducted by MJA Consulting Engineers.
As part of Phase One, core infrastructure roads and services have been completed. In addition, landscaping and street lighting works have been carried out, along with the construction of a new state-of-the-art energy centre that will house a combined power and heat station. The power station will produce electricity on site, which will in turn be redirected back to the national grid. The heat that is produced will be captured on site and redistributed to the whole of Drayton Garden Village in order to provide heat and hot water for the residential and commercial units on the site.
The CHP system has been provided by E.ON and will reduce the carbon footprint of Drayton Garden Village. Through the utilisation of the CHP system and the installation of 700 square metres of PV solar panels, it is estimated that Drayton Garden Village will see a 43% carbon dioxide reduction each year.
Approximately 10 kilometres of highly insulated pipe work has been installed into the ground and is already providing heat to the first five houses.
In total, 773 homes will be built at Drayton Garden Village. These homes will comprise a mixture of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, whilst a number of these homes will be wheelchair compliant. In addition, there will be a range of two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.
The majority of the homes will be constructed using traditional brick and render. However, once an area of land is sold to a third party developer, it is down to the developer to choose the materials for construction.
Howarth Homes Technical Director, Brian Nason, said:
“Howarth Homes is carrying out a number of functions on the site, including project managing the on-site remediation and infrastructure works and building Drayton Garden Village’s energy centre.
“We worked closely with Inland Homes to provide and implement the initial design of the development and we installed the entire infrastructure for roads and services. This was to facilitate the division of the site into serviced plots so that all of the other developers could build different phases.
He added: “The main infrastructure has been designed with energy efficiency in mind and although all of the houses on Phase One have been built to Code 4 standards, the inclusion of the district heating system has made compliance relatively easy.”
As well as the inclusion of the CHP energy centre, a number of additional environmentally friendly practices are being introduced at Drayton Garden Village. These include a dedicated eco zone and the introduction of water conservation techniques.
In addition, Inland Homes Plc has set a zero waste target across the whole of the site and as a result only 0.3% of waste from Drayton Garden Village has gone to landfill. The rest of the on-site waste material has been reused and recycled during the construction work, which is the equivalent of taking 3,000 lorry loads of waste of off the local roads.
The zero waste target also applies to the bio-remediation work that Inland Homes Plc is conducting on the site.
When Inland Homes Plc took over the site, the company discovered that eight diesel generators which had previously provided electricity to the site had caused ground contamination to the northwest corner. This needed to be remediated before work could commence, therefore a strategy of bio-remediation was implemented. Bio remediation involves excavating a contaminated area of land and adding bacteria to the area to assist the natural breakdown of the hydrocarbons. This material can then become self-cleaning and be reused on the site.
A large proportion of the remediation work has already been conducted at Drayton Garden Village, the majority of which has involved the movement of thousands of cubic feet of material. As this process can take up to six months to be completed, careful planning was undertaken in order for on-site staff to be able to manoeuvre around the site at all times.
With Phase One nearing completion, Phase Two is already underway with the construction of 89 private tenure houses from Weston Homes. The remainder of Phase One includes the completion of pedestrian and cycle boulevards and the landscaping of one of two open areas.
In April 2012 the construction of the 80-bedroom nursing home is due to begin, and this will be followed in May by the medical and community centre. A new phase of 85 apartments will start construction during the second half of 2012, whilst further phases will begin when older phases near completion.
Howarth Homes Technical Director, Brian Nason, said:
“A project like Drayton Garden Village is really where the partnership between Inland Homes Plc and Howarth Homes can excel, with each party playing to their particular strengths. The scheme has allowed Inland Homes to acquire a Brownfield site and revive its use, with Howarth Homes delivering the on-site expertise and management to make it happen.
“We’ve worked in conjunction with Inland on a number of projects like this and there’s a great sense of accomplishment as the planning and design and construction all comes together. When Drayton Garden Village is completed, a very desirable environment for families will have been created from what was otherwise a derelict site.”