A £26 million project to bring new accommodation and retail space to Belfast is nearing completion.
Situated on Glen Road, Clanmil Housing’s Caffrey Hill is a mixed-use development comprising 119 houses, 46 apartments, seven retail units, an office and a children’s play area. The site has been under construction since March 2010 and once complete, the development will replace the former brewery which had its home on the site for almost 100 years.
The construction of the scheme is a joint venture between Colleen Construction and T & A Kernaghan, with architectural services provided by McGirr Architects. The site has been designed to meet a number of specific design requirements, including Lifetime Homes, Secured by Design, and Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Commenting on the need to meet these requirements, Clanmil Housing’s Director of Property Services, Carol McTaggart, said:
“We are very proud of this scheme. Currently, 44% of Northern Ireland households are deemed to be in fuel poverty, so the focus of meeting Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes was our attempt to make the dwellings as thermally efficient as possible.
“It is our view that by meeting these specific design requirements our tenants will reap the benefits and soaring energy costs will not be a drain on their disposable income.”
In addition to meeting very high standards of design, where possible, building elements of the original brewery buildings have been incorporated into the new development to maintain the unique history of the area.
“Glen Road is a key arterial route into the city of Belfast and is a highly populated residential area. The land was a former industrial site which housed the Bass Brewery, which was originally owned by the Caffrey family. For more than 100 years the brewery was a major presence in the area and as a legacy to this, following a naming competition among local school children, the name Caffrey Hill was chosen. We believe this is a fitting tribute to the site’s heritage.
“During its peak the brewery was a key employer in the area, providing jobs for many local residents, so for us it was very important that we acknowledged this when creating the next chapter in the site’s history.”
The buildings are being built using a timber frame construction and include environmentally friendly features such as triple glazing, increased insulation – exceeding the minimal building control requirements – and air tightness. In addition, the development will benefit from solar water heating, mechanical house ventilation and heat recovery systems.
“For Clanmil Housing, Caffrey Hill is a flagship scheme. Work has progressed very well on this development and some tenants have already moved into their new homes.
“Clanmil’s core ethos is about providing high quality housing for those who need it most and we’ve provided a fantastic design solution at Caffrey Hill. Caffrey Hill will take people in urgent need of housing off the waiting list and provide them with a great place to live.
“We want our scheme to be an integral part of the wider community and by including retail units and office space we are providing a sustainable development. We have brought the site back into use for the local community, and we hope this will add to socioeconomic activity in the area by providing a vibrant place to both live and work.”
Caffrey Hill is currently on programme and is scheduled to reach completion in spring 2013.