e*SCAPE Urbanists, in association with PGLA and Simon Fenton Partnership have delivered an environmental improvements style guide for Tai Calon and RCT Homes in the Welsh Valleys.
The guide is to be used by Tai Calon and RCT’s landscape consultants and in-house housing teams to deliver a consistent quality of environmental improvements across their neighbourhoods.
Overarching studies identifying where environmental improvements need to be undertaken have already been completed and the Style Guide built on that work.
Many of the homes within the Welsh Valleys have been refurbished with new insulation, windows, kitchen and bathrooms, however, whilst the properties themselves are of a high quality, the ‘kerb appeal’ of the neighbourhoods in which they’re located lets them down. The Style Guide and the subsequent environmental improvement implementation contracts will complete the package and provide good quality homes in good environments for existing and new tenants alike.
The guide looks at ranges of street furniture, boundary treatments, materials and practical detailing in terms of footpaths, parking, steps, disabled access, bin and cycle storage. It balances capital costs against revenue budgets to assist in decision making over choosing creative and aesthetically pleasing solutions, which are also durable and easy to maintain.
By creating a suite of products and detailing from which to choose, the Style Guide will ensure a brand identity to the Neighbourhoods, assist the Housing Managers in appreciating and understanding the quality of the products and construction standards they should expect from contractors. This approach will also improve the buying power of the clients through increased quantities of similar materials from local suppliers and improve the ease of maintenance by being able to store a supply of the materials to undertake remedial repairs when needed quickly.
The Style Guide is currently being used on a number of projects and it’ll be interesting to see how those schemes develop as they near completion on site this year.