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Wates Residential and Orbit Housing are developing 320 new purpose built dwellings on the site of several old tower blocks within Arthur St in Erith, Kent. Client: Orbit House / Wates Residential. Architect: ECD. Main Contractor: Wates Residential. Structural Engineer: Clarke Bond. M&E Engineer: Designbrook Ltd.

Park East New Build Estate Regeneration

Erith, Bexley, London

Client: Wates / Orbit Housing Association
Project Value: £96.4M
Brief: 320 new homes across 5 blocks
Sustainability Initiatives: MVHR

We are working for Wates and Orbit Housing Association on the development of 320 new homes at Arthur Street in Erith. We took the project on at the start of Stage 4, and are leading the design team to achieve the detailed design and construction of the regeneration of what was a run-down estate.

The new development provides 5-blocks of homes, varying from 3 to 8-storeys in height. These provide new homes of which 80% will be for London Living rent, London Affordable rent or shared ownership. The existing Arthur Street Estate had become very run down such that, as part of a phased regeneration of the wider area, Orbit took the decision to create new homes with a more community-focussed layout. When we were appointed the design had just been submitted for planning approval, so it is our task to create buildable details, while ensuring that the original design intent is achieved.

As the project lead designer for stages 4-6 as well as BIM coordinators we developed federated models which we continue to work with to ensure that our designs and those of the engineers are coordinated. We worked with the Principal Designer and developed a Hazard Identifiers script within the BIM software Revit which we use to represent the risk register in 3D. These Identifiers can be attached to objects in the model and populated with information about the risks relating to that object, so that risks can be viewed in 3D, in a schedule or highlighted on drawings.

Appointed directly by Wates, we have worked collaboratively with the contractor’s team to develop the project designs through workshops and ongoing design reviews. For this process we created reports to clearly explain possible optimisations such as off-site constructed bathroom pods and underfloor heating, making sure each report was appropriately technical for its intended recipients. We also provided a report on meeting the revisions to Part B for buildings over 18 metres as this change occurred during the design process.

In line with our commitment to support the communities in which we work, we ran a 3-day workshop with construction students at London South East Colleges, taking them through the project design process. As the balconies to one block were proposed to be perforated, with the detailed design still to be carried out, we worked with the students to develop the patterns to be applied to these balconies. Together we looked at precedents, regulation and practicality, the students drew ideas based on the local area and we discussed how their drawings might be developed into a perforated design.

The workshop culminated in a visit to the factory where the balconies for Park East are being manufactured. This provided them with an understanding of the manufacturing process and whilst they were there, a prototype of one of their panel designs was cut out. Park East is currently on site and we are excited to see it progressing and look forward to it helping to create a new community.