Following a feasibility study and options appraisal of a residential development for the proposed site the design team was appointed to provide detailed designs for Clydebank Housing Association with Clydebank Re-built acting as enabling client. The project aims were listed as follows:
- Respond to the urban context which the site and adjacent master plan seeks to establish.
- Develop the design to produce a high variety in both external and internal spaces.
- Create framework of sound environmental principles within which appropriate architectural expression would take place.
- Provide the project with its own identity, evolving creative solutions to functional requirements, whilst placing equal importance on the technical, cost and programming elements to be achieved.
- Provide sustainable development in conjunction with and enjoyed by the client body and residents alike that will bring a sense of ownership and pride in the result.
The brief was to provide a high quality design that was economically viable for new affordable homes for rent. Through consultation with the Housing Association a preferred option was chosen and unit numbers and mix were agreed at 20 x 1 bed and 20 x 2 bed flats.
Designs were to be developed in accordance with the mainstream requirements for Housing for varying needs, lifetime homes, secured by design standards and an eco-homes target of very good.
Further discussions took place with Clydebank Re-built in terms of the adjacent master plan and with West Dunbartonshire Council planning and Roads Department and all were supportive of the scheme presented, however from discussions with planning it was made clear that onsite parking provisions of 125% would be non-negotiable.
Through the site does not form part of Clydebank Re-built’s Queens Quay master plan, its adjacent location provides it with a ‘gateway’ status to the area. The scale responds to the local tenemental context along the adjacent Glasgow Road, providing the development with an appropriate civic emphasis to this important location.
All living spaces are arranged along the front elevation affording sun and views. This façade is enriched by private balconies that sit behind openable glazed screens which provide an acoustic and thermal buffer allowing a flexibility of use in this windy location adjacent to the Clyde.
A traditional construction of load bearing brick and block with partial cavity insulation has been used, supporting precast concrete floor slabs and a non PVC single ply membrane warm roof on ply sarking and timber joints. There is a robust external material palette generally consisting of facing brick with pre-cast concrete elements to the principal elevations and larch cladding to sheltered areas at the rear. Timber framed high performance windows are used throughout.
The detailed design was instructed in September 2007 and following consultation, client review, eco-homes workshop and an approved cost plan figure of £5.1 million the planning application was lodged in December that year. During production information a continual review of best value and potential savings was undertaken to ensure the cost plan would be brought closer to £4 million and when the tender was let in May 2008, a contract was awarded using SBCC 2005 with a price of £4.1million.
Site start was then however held back until November 2008 while awaiting local authority processing of building warrant. The project was on site for 40 weeks, being completed two weeks ahead of programme in September 2009 and with no uplift from the original contract sum.