RAPID DELIVERY HOUSINGDún Laoghaire, Ireland Construction and Development, Environment and Resource efficiency
The project objectives were as follows:
▶ To create a “pathfinder” project that would explore how social housing can be delivered rapidly using factory built components
while at the same time achieving extremely high energy standards;
▶ To create new housing at densities that maximise the value of serviced brownfield land while at the same time providing family
housing with own door access;
▶ To increase the residential population of the town in order to underpin its regeneration;
▶ To create new pedestrian routes to migrate visitors to the seafront to visit and shop in the commercial centre of the town;
▶ To create an exemplar project that demonstrates and harnesses the value of collaborative working between public and private
sector designers and contractors
Until recently, Dún Laoghaire was characterised by the physical and perceptual separation between the Town and its Waterfront, which is the primary amenity of the area and which gives the Town its unique sense of place. This separation, created primarily by the rapid transit corridor, has now been overcome by a series of public realm projects which have reconnected the town centre back to the Waterfront. At the same time, the town has seen a decline in its residential population over recent years. Its retail performance has also declined in the face of competition from out of town retail stores. In the face of this, the Local Authority has created the Dún Laoghaire Urban Framework Plan which is a strategic plan to be implemented over twenty years to redress these effects. This plan emphasises strengthening the Town Centre by creating new or improved physical links for cyclists and pedestrians to the Waterfront and to the wider residential hinterland.
Dublin, like many metropolitan areas, is suffering an acute shortage of housing for both the private and the public sectors. This has led to a call from Government for Authorities to explore ways
of rapidly accelerating housing delivery. Our response was to create a process where close collaboration with the construction sector could leverage their expertise. This led to the this project becoming a “pathfinder” project that would explore how social housing can be delivered rapidly using factory built components while at the same time maintaining extremely high building and energy standards. The new development at Georges Place lies on the intersection of these diverse objectives. The site was a former Council Depot site that was now vacant and unused. Its location only several hundred meters from the sea made it an ideal place to satisfy an urgent requirement for own door high density family housing.
This project was awarded a silver certification under Irish Green
Building Council’s Home Performance Index to encourage excellence
in the development of new homes. The HPI assesses its impacts on
well being and costs associated with living in these homes. George’s
Place received the highest ever score for “walkability”, reducing car
dependency and boosting health and financial well being of residents.
Energy Efficiency in Social housing
The A1 BER achieved means running costs for the tenants should
not exceed €200 per year contributing significantly to a reduction in
costs for low income households.
Speed of onsite delivery
Manufactured in factory conditions, delivered speed and quality.
A rapid build timber frame was selected. Passive principles of fabric
first in terms of high levels of insulation and airtightness combined
with mechanical heat recovery are embedded in the design.
To ensure value for money, the Contractor was co-opted as joint
designer meaning that the Authority could leverage the contractor’s
expertise in construction while delivering a highly designed architectural solution.
“Considerate Constructors Scheme” – Improving the image
The contractor achieved a performance beyond compliance award
in this industry scheme across a range of parameters including
community liaison, cleanliness of the site and surroundings and care
for their workforce
The project was delivered on time and within budget. Twelve families have been housed in twelve high quality energy-efficient A1-rated dwellings. While a small project in numerical terms, it has demonstrated clearly that rapid delivery can be achieved while achieving high energy and maintaining high quality. This means of delivery and the house types that were designed
are now the preferred standard house model within this organisation and is being replicated at scale on two sites currently being designed. In urban design terms, a new street has been created between the town centre leading to the waterfront which will stimulate regeneration across the wider
area in line with policy objectives.
Why it works
✚ Prefabrication is a novel strategy to improve the price quality index in social housing.
✚ Increase in housing density.
✚ Running costs for the tenants should not exceed €200 per year contributing significantly to a reduction in costs for low income households.
✚ This project became a “pathfinder” project that would explore how social housing can be delivered rapidly using factory built components while at the same time maintaining extremely high building and energy standards.