A new life-long housing development in St. Peters, Jersey, has created fourteen new retirement homes for senior citizens.
The £3.5 million project began in April 2011 and has seen the construction of fourteen modern retirement homes and one warden unit in Field 633, which is located to the north east of St. Peter’s Village and La Grande Route de St. Pierre. Architects for the project are Arkitecture Ltd and the main contractor is Camerons Ltd.
As an area that was zoned under the 2002 Island Plan Policy H3 as a site for Category A Housing, the site satisfies the criteria laid down in Policy H12 to meet the specific needs of the elderly and those with disabilities.
The life-long homes will be available to rent and have been designed to accommodate both fit and less able people over the age of 60. A socially supportive and stimulating environment, the development will enable the residents to live independently in the Parish community for as long as possible.
Connétable John Refault said:
“In 1973, WP led the creation of the first of several village developments across the Island with ninety-six family homes in Ville Du Bocage. In 1978, fourteen bedsits and one bedroom flat were added at Maison Le Marquand for our needy senior citizens.
“The addition of fourteen life-long homes at Field 633 gives us today a significant and varied offering of Parish-led homes for our parish.
“The Field 633 development complements the earlier high-quality developments in our parish, in company with our superb Youth and Community Centre and arguably the best-designed village development in Ville Du Bocage and the adjacent La Grande Piece.”
The homes are arranged in seven pairs of semidetached units and each of the homes is an attractive modern construction with a total floor area of 76 square metres. All of the homes have two double bedrooms for the occupant and their carer, with the master bedroom featuring an accessible shower ‘wet room’. Internal living spaces rise to one-and-a-half storeys with a glazed outlook to the open countryside beyond, whilst the quiet bedrooms are located towards the interior of the site.
Each unit has also incorporated two car parking spaces and 50 square metres of private amenity space to the rear, whilst the warden unit is located at first floor level over Units 13 and 14 and comprises two bedrooms totalling 78 square metres.
In order to create a contemporary and sustainable development, the units feature a traditional pitched pantile roof that has been constructed from glulam timber beams, columns and structural roof decking. External Bre-Soleil and highly insulated glass with integral vertical blinds help to control solar heat gain and loss whilst creating a light, open space.
The homes have been designed to comply with the current regulations for sustainable development. As a result, the materials selected – including the glulam timber structure/roof decking, roof pantiles, glazed walls, aluminium windows, doors and fascias– have been chosen in order to meet the latest environmental regulatory requirements for new homes based on BRE’s Ecohomes.
Sustainable features include energy efficient electric heat pumps and underfloor heating to remove the need for wall-mounted radiators. In addition, low energy lighting has been incorporated throughout the design. One of the most important sustainable features is the use of glulam timber beams, which has proved both cost and energy efficient.
Statistics show that glulam is competitively priced compared to other structural materials, whilst the lower weight leads to savings on foundations, transport and erection. Benefits include impressive levels of insulation, which subsequently eliminates the risk of cold bridging where the frame may penetrate external elements of the structure. In addition, the relatively low thermal mass helps to reduce fuel bills by absorbing little space heating energy.
Alan Pickup, Arkitecture Ltd, explained:
“Each dwelling could only have a maximum floor area of 76 square metres and each unit had to include two double bedrooms. An open-plan layout was therefore considered a priority in order to facilitate the maximum usage of the available floor space and reduce the need for wasteful circulation space.
“The laminated timber structure comprises glulam timber columns, beams and 75mm thick solid timber roof decking that has created a timber ceiling with clear spans between the structural rafter beams. All of the structure and the stainless steel fixings have been left exposed, which has established a pleasant and natural appearance.
“Laminated timber is a renewable building material that is environmentally friendly, energy efficient, economical and easy to work with. Not only is it an attractive material, but it also possesses an excellent strength to weight ratio.”
Also included in the scheme is the provision of carports, which are located immediately adjacent to the main entrance door and offer covered access for occupants. Specifically designed for disabled residents, the carports will facilitate the dignified off-loading of wheelchairs from cars.
Landscaping has included several communal garden spaces in the central area and the adjacent La Grade Route de St. Pierre. Semi-mature trees, planters and bushes decorate the site in a funky green manner, whilst the private amenity spaces comprise paved patio areas with a lawn and trees.
Ground conditions prevent water from draining away quickly and the development was only permitted to have a very small run-off of surface water into the surface water drainage system. As a result, a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) using permeable paving and stone sub-base construction was designed to retain surface water onsite during heavy rain, before allowing it to drain away naturally over a period of time.
Vehicular access was considered from both La Grande Route de St. Pierre and La Verte Rue, however the consensus of opinion between all parties deemed direct access off La Grande Route de St. Pierre the best option. In addition, the existing adjacent bus stop was relocated and a new purpose-built shelter is proposed using materials that are sympathetic to the development. The existing substation on the corner of the site has also been retained, which has saved the need for expensive relocation.
Alan Pickup, Arkitecture Ltd, said:
“The project has progressed well, thanks to Cameron’s site management team. In fact, the project is due to be completed ahead of programme and within budget.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to have won this competition. We had an excellent main contractor, a great professional team and competent subcontractors. The parish of St. Peter, in particular the Connetable John Refault, shares our vision of a contemporary design for the development of lifelong homes.
“An important aspect of this is the use of traditional materials to create a relaxed, open-plan living space for the elderly – which I believe we have managed to achieve.”