Councillors have approved plans by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to install factory-built homes on the site of torn-down war-damaged terraces in a northern suburb of Cardiff
The city council’s planning committee granted consent for the practice to use its Homeshell system to deliver nine two-bedroom residences in Crofts Street, Plasnewydd.
A report to councillors said ‘95 per cent’ of the dwellings would be assembled off site.
Main contractor Wates, which is delivering the project through its Cardiff Living partnership with the council, said benefits of this approach included reducing time on site and disruption to local communities.
All nine homes will be classed as affordable and feature mechanical and natural ventilation as part of plans to slash heating bills by 90 per cent compared with traditional builds.
The scheme will involve cutting down a cherry tree on the site, a move that attracted criticism from local residents despite plans to plant a replacement nearby.
RSHP is working with AECOM on the scheme, which is expected to start on site this year. Welsh ministers awarded the project an Innovative Housing Programme grant in October 2018.
AECOM head of commercial for buildings and places John Lewis said: ‘The Crofts Street scheme is advancing the development of social and affordable housing, using innovative design to create high-performance residential solutions for people in Cardiff.
‘We’re excited to bring our collaboration with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to Cardiff Council, working with Wates Residential to deliver the scheme and show what is possible when applying high-quality, precision-engineered, modular techniques to help meet the UK’s acute demand for new housing.’
RSHP associate partner Andrew Partridge said the scheme represented ‘a great opportunity’ to ‘set a new benchmark for council housing in the UK’.
Wates Residential regional director Edward Rees added: ‘The modular design will increase energy efficiency and shorten our time on site, helping to reduce emissions and disruption for existing residents.
‘This is just one of the ways innovative solutions can help tackle growing demand for housing, and we look forward to working with the council to deliver more homes over the coming months and years.’
Rshp crofts road cardiff site plans
Cardiff Council cabinet member for housing and communities Lynda Thorne described the project as ‘exciting’.
She said: ‘Advantages of the scheme include reduced energy bills for tenants, helping to combat fuel poverty, while the amount of construction time on site is significantly reduced, which is an obvious benefit for people living in the community around the development.’
RSH+P delivered its first Homeshell project at the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard in 2013 to ’provoke debate about how architectural and construction innovation together might help us meet the UK’s housing needs’.