London & South East, Premier Construction

Major affordable housing boost for Crawley

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A much-needed high quality affordable housing scheme comprising 22 apartments arranged over six levels with associated parking and landscaping is being completed on a site adjacent to Brunel Place, Crawley.

The project is being carried out for Crawley Borough Council in partnership with main contractors Osborne. Architects are HNW Architects.

Constructed on a brownfield site, the scheme is part of the wider mixed-use regeneration of the town centre, which Crawley Borough Council commenced around 2005, and will bring more housing closer to the town centre.

The site was previously occupied by a children’s day centre, which had been demolished some years before. The new development maximises the use of an otherwise derelict site.

Incorporating 10 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments, the building is designed to be of landmark quality to compliment the adjacent Arora Hotel and complete a southern gateway into the town centre, as well as to create an area of coherent character which takes into account the characteristics of the site and its surroundings.

The new building meets the criteria for Code 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, Lifetime Homes and Secure By Design.

The building frame utilises a light gauge steel system made up of factory produced pre-insulated external wall panels, floor and roof cassettes. This type of construction has helped to keep the construction programme on track where time is a constraining factor.

The materials selected are designed to soften the visual imposition of the building and complement the surrounding flora.

External elevations are in a combination of facing stock brickwork to the east and west facade bay projections, with an off-white Sto render facade to the north and south elevations, incorporating colour coated steel framed balconies with glass balustrades and Rock clad composites narrow rainscreen cladding to the upper facade.

A colour panel accent is featured on the north and south elevations between windows, and all apartments have grey UPVC casement windows and balcony access doors. Glazing has also been fitted to communal lobbies above the main entrance on the north elevation.

The building’s flat roof is designed with upswept angled perimeter sections to facilitate the provision of photovoltaic panels, concealed behind colorsel vertical louvres.

External works include the provision of car parking, landscaping and refuse and bicycle storage.

Commending the project, Councillor Stephen Joyce, Cabinet Member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “The scheme has progressed very well and very quickly due to the method of construction used, and we are really looking forward having to this much-needed affordable housing in Crawley.”

Garfield Coombs, Director for Homes at Osborne, said: “In these difficult economic times, it is nice to see a local authority prioritising investment in affordable housing. We were delighted to have an opportunity to actively participate in Crawley’s home building programme. We very much value this relationship and look forward to working more with Crawley in the future.”

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