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Barking Riverside by Sheppard Robson

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More Homes, Better Homes: The AJ presents twelve exemplar housing schemes

At 140 hectares, Barking Riverside is one of the UK’s largest residential regeneration schemes, located on a brownfield site on the Thames to the east of Barking. Sheppard Robson designed the 45 hectare phase one masterplan for the first 1,400 of 10,800 homes. The development exemplifies a holistic approach to designing sustainable communities.

Sheppard Robson’s design balances the needs of people and the environment to create a sustainable long-term community. The energy-efficient mixed tenure houses and apartments vary in character and density ranging from traditionally laid-out terraces to innovative, linear houses wrapped around a central garden. All are passively designed to reduce solar gain, with 50 per cent of the pitched roofs facing south, providing space for micro-renewable energy generation. The remaining roof areas are covered with green and brown roofs. All homes have an EPC rating of B. The majority of the homes are designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. Some achieve this with masonry construction and some with timber frame.

Tom Kyle, architect, Sheppard Robson

Recommendation: BedZED, Hackbridge, London by Bill Dunster



BedZED was built in 2002, so it is now over 10 years old. It was a pioneering sustainable housing project, and many of the innovative design features are now current good practice. The team behind it took a holistic approach to sustainability, as they didn’t just focus on energy in use; they responsibly sourced the materials and encouraged sustainable lifestyles.

As a result, it has created a very strong community. It didn’t get everything right, but those who live and work there (of which I was one) find it an inspiring and uplifting place.

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