Norfolk Park Green Homes, Sheffield [2004-2008]

- designed by Matthew Lloyd Architects


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Completed 2008
47 homes in total
£5m - Funded by Unity Trust Bank and Transform South Yorkshire

Background


In 2004 Matthew Lloyd Architects1 won an Environment Trust sponsored competition to design 47 “Green Homes” in Norfolk Park. The £6m scheme was designed and subsequently built in partnership with Sheffield City Council; with the tenure being determined in consultation with the Local Resident’s Association also. The scheme comprises 14 one bedroom flats, 18 two bedroom flats and 15 three bedroom houses.

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History

"Norfolk Park is situated one mile south-east of the city centre. The area is surrounded by extensive grass and woodland areas and boasts fantastic views of the city. Built in the 1960s, the Norfolk Park estate was a flagship for urban design principles for post-war planning. Whilst these 60s properties’ central heating, bathrooms and kitchens had at the time represented a step forward from the back-to-backs that they replaced, the coming of mass car ownership meant that the urban design was no longer appropriate.

By the 1980s, the area was in severe decline. Mass unemployment, the poor condition of the non-traditional housing stock, drug abuse, high crime and unemployment rates meant demand for housing on Norfolk Park was low.

In 1995 the area was allocated £20m of Single Regeneration Budget funding to halt the decline. A stock conditional survey highlighted some structural problems, and a programme of demolition of the unpopular tower blocks and maisonettes at the same time as many of the relatively popular Vic Hallam houses were refurbished. In 2000, substantial consultation resulted in Masterplan for the area which defined the new tenure-blind Norfolk Park where all properties are either new or modernised, and there is a comprehensive range of property and tenure."2


Additional Information

The Environment Trust3 develops energy efficient “affordable homes” around the country. Typically their Green Homes are sold at 70% of market value; buyers therefore must pay the discounted sale price, with the remaining balance secured as a second charge to the Trust. This is known as "open market homebuy"4. Usually local authorities, as in this case, must gift the land to the Trust in exchange for the right to put forward buyers and future tenants. The construction is then funded by bank finance.

The homes are designed to improved space standards and benefit from solar water heating and super-insulation. PV arrays help power lighting [in the communal areas] and electric car charging points. Particular attention is given to water, with spray taps and reduced volume cisterns in all bathrooms. A Sustainable Urban Drainage system that includes dewponds, reed beds and water plants, has also been applied within the scheme. The development has only recently been finished [referred to by some as Legoland], but was previously exhibited as part of the RIBA ‘sustainable living’ exhibition [2006] and the V&A’s ‘on the threshold’ [also 2006].

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Links


The Sheffield City Council website has information about ongoing social housing projects and eligibility requirements for tenancy - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/index.asp?pgid=1912
http://www.matthewlloyd.co.uk/
http://www.thisbuildingleaks.co.uk
http://studio8housingplus.ning.com/

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