Design Vision & Guide

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1 Design Vision & Guide

2 Contents Design Vision Design Objectives Design Management Strategy Design Guidance Design Brief and Scoping Concept Design Detailed Design and Sustainability Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

3 Foreword Genesis Design Vision Genesis combines its social purpose helping our customers build better futures with a commercial approach geared to filling gaps in dysfunctional housing markets, creating value in the properties we own and the places in which we operate. We recognise the value and importance of strategic alliances, working closely with local authorities and other partners in our key areas of operation London, Hertfordshire, Essex and East Anglia. We build homes and neighbourhoods, and in so doing, build communities and create great places. We will make a positive contribution to the creation and improvement of the neighbourhood and local community. This includes improving the physical townscape, enhancing communities and community cohesion, contributing to wellbeing and generating employment opportunities. Our innovative approach means that we offer a wide range of tenures, products and services, aimed at helping our customers meet their housing aspirations as their circumstances change over time. Every Genesis home will provide residents and customers with a sense of security, belonging and pride. Their design will take into account the costs associated with running a home and seek to minimise these for our customers and residents. In the planning and design stages, as an organisation we will use our resources wisely, challenging our partners and ourselves to be more efficient in building the homes and communities of the future. Our range of customers and their expectations will become more diverse over time. We aim to be an agile, efficient organisation, using our customer knowledge to align our products and services and the standards to which we deliver them. This means our mixed tenure approach to designing and building homes needs to be adaptable to households changing circumstances, be it to meet the needs of a growing family or a desire to age in place. The places we create must take into account an ageing population. GLA Intelligence, the Greater London Authority s research and analysis team, project an increase of almost two-thirds in the number of people age 64 and over: outside London, the demographic changes are similar. In delivering new homes therefore, we need to work with our partners to ensure we provide homes for an ageing population, so that as people get older they are well housed, able to maintain their independence in their own home for as long as possible and are able to continue to play a role in their community. John Carleton Executive Director, Markets and Portfolio Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

4 Genesis Core Values The design of our buildings and the enhancement of neighbourhoods will be guided by our five core values: Customer focus Our top priority is to understand and meet the needs and aspirations of current and prospective customers, treating them with consistency and sensitivity. We will achieve this through a combination of market research and listening to existing residents and customers. We will be clear about who we are providing new homes for clearly defining priorities and performance standards that are focused on their needs and aspirations Respect We will treat our customers and the communities they live in with respect, integrity and professionalism. Our prospective residents and customers have needs and aspirations based on a diverse range of factors. It is our aim to meet these by offering variety, flexibility and adaptability in new homes and buildings, allowing people to live together as part of the community. Partnership working We will work in partnership with stakeholders and partners, putting in place effective twoway communication, from design brief to completion. We will make resources available and prioritise responsibilities so we can take actions as agreed and meet performance targets, and will expect others to do so as well. Efficiency We will make use of robust systems and business cases for individual projects, using and applying our own and our partners resources wisely. Design and contractual solutions will be viable and allow for efficient management and maintenance in the long-term. We will become a learning organisation, ensuring feedback from operational activity is incorporated into our business processes. Our developments are assets for both Genesis and the communities they are located in. They will be designed with long-term sustainability and affordability in mind, for the organisation and customers alike. We will benchmark best practice and monitor our performance so as to be able to make further improvements and set appropriate expectations of performance. Good employer We will communicate with staff and customers how we intend to work together to make Genesis a great place to work. We will ensure staff are proactive in sharing knowledge to achieve shared goals for Genesis and for customers, delivering a service they are proud of. We will ensure that they are fully informed, trained, supported and equipped with the skills to deliver on these expectations, working towards the shared purpose and vision of creating places and becoming a leading property based service provider Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

5 Design Objectives 1 Following from our mission and values, we have defined a set of design objectives that apply to new developments. The degree to which a new development meets these objectives should be kept under review throughout the design evolution of a new scheme. Quality for customers Every home we build must meet basic needs and expectations of privacy, security and comfort, that are common to all people. All homes must: provide good levels of privacy from the hustle and bustle of the city and from immediate neighbours, especially in terms of noise deliver security in the home, around the home and along the means to get home be a safe environment for residents, especially for children and for those with reduced mobility be comfortable in terms air quality, humidity, ventilation and internal temperature deliver good levels of sunlighting and daylighting be as large as we can afford to make them, providing occupants with sufficient living and storage space have access to private external amenity, designed to be an integral part of the home and to receive some sunlight during the day be cost effective to live in, with appropriate costs and service charge, and be designed to provide good value for the prospective customers for those new homes be easy to live in with clear guidance on how to enable optimal performance be part of well designed buildings, which people feel proud to live in be designed so as to promote good community relations Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

6 Design Objectives Sustainable long term assets Place shaping vision and enhancing the community Diversity for customers We want our buildings to endure. Each new development must be carefully considered from a whole life cost perspective. Design solutions should be based on considered thought, best practice and corporate knowledge, with regard to how a building is likely to be used over its lifetime. Buildings should also take into account the people who will in future live or work in them, making sure each building becomes a valued asset for the community. To meet these objectives key issues to be addressed through the design development process include: will the new homes be cost effective to live in? will the homes be cost efficient to manage and maintain? are public areas, communal areas and private parts of buildings appropriately demised so that service costs can be allocated according to people s use and access to spaces? does the design incorporate high energy efficiency standards and environmental performance? Are these viable without compromising on comfort and ease of use? are buildings smart, designed so they are easy to monitor to whether they are performing well? Monitoring systems (meters and other equipment) should be incorporated into the design, so it is easy to record energy and water consumption in the building and temperature and humidity in communal parts of buildings Developments should optimise the use of land, making a positive contribution to the local area or neighbourhood they are located in. When a new development is planned, every part of the new scheme should have a role to play in our place shaping vision for the location and wider area. There should be no redundant areas of land, no matter how small. The use of space and of buildings must be considered, to minimise instances of noise nuisance and avoid impacting other parts of the development. A clear rationale and business case must exist for all ancilliary, non-housing, land-uses. Public areas such as play spaces should be carefully located so as to enhance community cohesion and integration of new residents with the existing community. Every new home built must be designed to maximise the value created. Each new home and any services associated with new homes will, as far as possible, meet the expectations and aspirations of our diverse customer base. At a wider scheme level, new developments will be expected to deliver to a range of different customers to enable them to live side by side. The degree to which these design objectives can be met will be strongly influenced by the point in the development process at which Genesis becomes involved in a new project. Where Genesis becomes involved in projects later in the development process, these design objectives should: be used to help determine whether a potential scheme is something in which Genesis should become involved at a structural level, are homes designed with sufficient flexibility and adaptability to enable easy change of tenure prior to occupation? are homes designed so that they are easy to inspect, with easy access to parts of the building which require regular maintenance? are buildings reasonably future-proofed to accommodate likely future technologies, incorporating some redundancy where cost effective? still be used to guide the subsequent design evolution of a project, wherever possible aligning design solutions with these objectives and Genesis design guidance Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

7 Design Management Strategy Design management This section has been designed specifically to facilitate the design process. The guidance section of the document has been structured to fit the stages of the design process, as a project progresses from brief and scoping, through concept, to detailed design. The detailed guidance recognises that in urban development, each site is unique and has its own peculiar constraints. Where possible a clear direction and steer is given to design teams. It is, however, recognised that for each project there will be instances where it is not possible to meet the specific guidance. Where this is the case, design teams need to revert back to Genesis design values and design objectives, re-interpreting these for the project in question. Where specific guidelines cannot be met, justification will be needed to explain how the generic design objectives will still be met. Core design standards Underlying the design guidance, there are core design requirements that apply to all projects. These are: The London Housing Design Standards Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 (including Lifetime Homes) Any proposed wheelchair accessible homes will need to meet locally defined space standards and other requirements. In the absence of any local criteria the London Mayor s Best Practice Guide on Wheelchair Accessible Housing (2007) should be used. The guidance provided in this document should be treated as overlaying the above requirements; in some cases providing quantitative improvements on these standards and in others, providing qualifications, setting out how a core requirement should be achieved. Appendix B provides further guidance on how to approach the London Housing Design Standards. Appendix C provides guidance on how to score for the Code for Sustainable Homes. Genesis recognises that these core standards and the guidelines in this document cannot alone deliver good quality homes. Design teams should make it clear where they have concerns that a development or individual home meets Genesis guidance and core requirements, but is not in the spirit of Genesis values and objectives. Engagement and collaboration To ensure the values and objectives are met, the design process should be a collaborative exercise, engaging internal and external stakeholders in a new development. Development and design teams need to fully map stakeholders and engage them in the evolution of a project s design. Examples of audiences include: marketing teams; asset management; maintenance and housing management; and externally, local authorities and other institutions such as local communities; local businesses; existing tenants in the case of regeneration projects; project partners and utility companies. Development procedures and design proforma Genesis has adopted formal development procedures with defined decision gateways for new development projects. The design checklist proforma in this document are provided to help assess a project as it evolves. Project managers will advise design teams when these need to be completed to inform Genesis decision-making. Design Vision & Guide

8 Briefing and Scoping Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

9 Briefing and Scoping Objectives: Quality for customers The briefing and scoping stage of a project needs to inform the Genesis Project Initiation Document (PID), Project Business Case and Project Design Brief. To inform the future design of a proposed scheme, the Project Design Brief needs to spell out: who, why and what s the sell? what mix of who? what else is required to support the who? planning and/or community impacts and gain? The following strategic questions need to be addressed: realistically and practically, who would want to live in a particular location, categorised broadly according to lifestyle, age, family status, etc? what would be the sell to identified audiences to live in a particular location? what else would need to be done to enhance that sell? Aspects of the design objectives, which need to be considered at the design brief and scoping stage, include: 1 2 estimating public transport accessibility and distance to nearest station (underground station in London) understanding local amenities, in particular distance to the nearest local foodstore noting key constraints to the site, such as the potential implications of adjacent noisy infrastructure noting the socioeconomic status of the area and the quality of local schools. Local crime levels should be noted and how this might be perceived by customers. Design teams need to consider whether this might raise particular design issues for the proposed scheme (including considering access between the scheme and local public transport) whether there are any major over-shadowing conditions to take into account what is the car parking situation? does the site provide scope for creating family accommodation with sufficient external amenity (private, communal or public)? Sustainable assets are there any factors that may compromise the ability to create a durable housing asset? For example being in a flood zone, or extraordinary long-term management costs arising from neighbouring land uses or boundary conditions? Place shaping 3 our place shaping vision means that in large developments we will expect a high level of socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the existing neighbourhood to be reflected. Smaller schemes should introduce diversity in such a way as to encourage and increase diversity eg in incomes. what is the socioeconomic and cultural diversity in the local area? For larger proposed developments, a high level of diversity within a scheme will be essential. For smaller developments the level of diversity within a scheme should generally be the opposite to the existing local conditions: ie in highly diverse areas, the level of diversity within a scheme is less important and vice versa. is it an appropriate location for a scheme of a particular type or tenure eg student accommodation or a care facility? what scope is there to enhance the local urban area in physical, environmental, social and economic terms? Value for customers 4 what value could be added to a scheme in a given location to enhance its desirability to potential customer segments? Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

10 Briefing and Scoping Locational preferences Density estimator Urban form Mixing uses Locational preferences Density estimator Urban form Mixing uses Mixing people Car parking provision Car parking solutions New homes located more than 800m walking distance from any train or underground stations should aim to provide increased levels of private and communal external amenity. New homes located more than 800m walking distance from food shops should consider including a corner shop equivalent within the development. These requirements represent potential incentives to improve the desirability of (in particular) private and shared-ownership homes. Private amenity space Research has indicated that people consider additional private amenity as an acceptable benefit to offset reduced accessibility. This requirement needs to be considered in the context of: public transport accessibility levels, bearing in mind bus services are not valued as highly as train and underground services local public amenity, such as parks. Although a new home may be close to a public park, private external amenity is always valued much higher than public or communal amenity. Local Facilities Customers strongly value having a local food store very close to where they live. If there is no food store close to a development, consideration needs to be given to providing this kind of facility within the new development. A good business case is needed to justify allocating space to such a use. Appropriate density should first be assumed to accord with the London Plan density matrix. Thereafter the following considerations should be made: is such density appropriate for the context and character of the local area? if not it may need to be reduced can the quality of the development be improved by increasing density so that, for example, car parking can be accommodated under the buildings or in communal areas? Appendix A provides a ready reckoner for different urban densities, which can be used to help inform likely density that can be accommodated on a site. It should be noted that the density range from 80 to 120 dwellings per hectare is difficult to achieve in a high quality way through only one type of built form. If this density range is required, or considered most appropriate, then variations in built form and variety in building heights should be considered within the brief. New developments with gross densities of over 50 dwellings per hectare should be urban in form. In the rural and suburban context at densities below 50 dwellings per hectare, generally houses are surrounded by the private external space demised to the dwelling (as in detached and semi-detached housing). At urban densities the buildings generally sit between the public realm and any private or communally private external space. At these densities buildings should front onto and frame streets and public spaces, creating a quieter, more private domain to the rear, whether that be private communal space, or a collection of private gardens. Vertical mixing of different uses, having retail, commercial or other uses on the ground floor, should only be considered where: a residential scheme is located on an existing thriving high street with existing viable shops the street level environment is not suitable for residential frontages due to privacy, security, noise or air quality concerns the development is located in an area where average net urban density approximates 250 dwellings per hectare or more there is a clear need for a small food store located within a scheme, supported by a clear business case there is a demonstrably compelling commercial case. All mixing of uses should otherwise be provided within the urban grain and not be vertically mixed. All nonresidential uses need to be supported by a researched business case Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

11 Briefing and Scoping Mixing uses Mixing people Car parking provision Car parking solutions Community uses may prove an exception to this rule. There should be clear, genuine community need for such additional space with mechanisms in place to ensure that such space has a sustainable source of funding. Where a corner store is considered necessary, careful consideration needs to be given to its location in order to maximise potential footfall and, where possible, promote interaction between existing and new communities. Homes aimed at customers with very different needs and lifestyles should be thoroughly mixed across the urban grain and within urban blocks. They should generally not share cores or other communal parts within buildings. More intensive management is needed in buildings shared by households with very different lifestyles. This can be relaxed where on-site management or a concierge is provided. Households with very different lifestyles should not share internal communal areas within buildings ie cores and lifts. There may be mixing within buildings eg family units on the ground floor, with access direct to the street and smaller units accessed via a separate entrance. Careful consideration needs to be given to the nature of any external communal space and how it will be used by different elements of the community. The level of car parking provided in a scheme should be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration: public transport accessibility levels potential value of car parking spaces and potential enhancement in value to private and shared ownership units in providing car parking spaces cost of providing car parking without compromising the quality of the scheme design considerations, in particular the quality and quantity of amenity space which can be provided within a scheme tenure mix local highways considerations. Planning policy on levels of car parking varies greatly across London. While this will have a strong influence on the chosen solution, a clear commercial, value and cost-oriented view should be formed before engaging with planning officers on this matter. All designs should seek to minimise the level of surface parking falling within areas of a development, which could otherwise provide external private or private communal amenity space. Car parking solutions should be considered in the following order of priority: 1. street parking - strongly preferred, particularly in low to medium density developments 2. secured parking provided at grade within buildings - preferred in higher density developments 3. secured underground or part underground parking 4. surface parking within communal or private areas - least preferred. Street parking is by far the best solution at densities below 80 dwellings per hectare, while secured parking at grade within buildings is preferred at densities over 120 dwellings per hectare. Where a site lies between these densities, consideration should be given to increasing site density to enable putting cars beneath buildings or underground. At urban densities below 50 dwellings per hectare it may be appropriate to provide dedicated parking spaces in front of each dwelling, although alternative street parking solutions should also be considered. In all situations design teams need to demonstrate that the solution provides for a good customer experience in terms of accessing parked cars and security. Parking should either be in a private secure domain, or highly visible in the public domain and solutions should not compromise provision of amenity space Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

12 Concept Design Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

13 Concept Design Objectives: Quality for customers The aim of the concept design stage is to test out design options to find the optimum scale, layout and building configuration for a particular site, balancing all the competing objectives, tensions and constraints. This enables testing of the design brief, to confirm the size and general nature of the proposed development. For some smaller sites, particularly tight, highly constrained sites, there will be few possible variations. As the size of the site increases, there will be more options available to design teams. They will be expected to demonstrate that a variety of options have been explored with respect to: retention or removal of existing features vehicular entry and exit points to the site pedestrian entry and exit points to the site the number, nature and hierarchy of spaces on the site [for larger schemes] the orientation of the layout variations in buildings heights around the site the amount and location of car parking the approach to landscaping design, bearing in mind likely landscape maintenance budgets. For each realistic concept design, aspects of the generic design objectives that need to be considered include: can the concept provide homes with good privacy levels? does the concept involve a clear demarcation between different realms private, communal and public? do all units achieve good levels of daylight and sunlight? does every unit have access to external private amenity? does the overall structure create the potential for buildings and building entrances that will be secure and provide residents with a sense of pride? Sustainable assets what are the communal solutions within buildings (heating, etc)? do any aspects of the concept raise issues with maintenance and management ie difficult to access areas? Place shaping how does the concept improve the local townscape? how and where will new customers within the scheme interact with existing residents within the area? how and where will people interact with their neighbours within the buildings and external spaces? are public and communal spaces well overlooked? are public and communal spaces structured to be inclusive? can people with reduced mobility or a disability access all public and communal areas? will the environment be safe for young children? are there any particular environmental issues that may need priority consideration in the detailed design, such as areas of high solar gain? does the scheme lead to any increased pressures on local amenities and facilities? Value for customers 4 how are people with different lifestyles and stages of life accommodated within the scheme? How will they interact within communal areas? does the scheme offer a range of home types? does the concept allow car parking to be provided within buildings or underground, so as to be able to maximise amenity space? what is the maximum, reasonable density scenario and why is this not considered optimal? Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

14 Concept Design Urban design Urban design Street based design and building orientation Street based design and building orientation Masterplanning Overlooking Locating entrances Access and permeability Urban design ratios Separation distances Tenure blindness Architecture Entrance sizes Communal parts Lift strategy Strategic London Design Standards Balconies Landscape Street hierarchy Amenity solutions Terracing and rooftop amenity Play space All design solutions should be derived from a street-based approach, orienting buildings to respect and create streets and public spaces. Solutions should maximise entrances onto any street or public space, thereby activating the public realm. Ground floor units should generally be accessed directly off the street. The fronts of buildings should face the fronts of other buildings, fronting onto active streets. The more private (and quieter) rear of buildings should face the backs of other buildings. Scenarios where alternative options to the above might be considered, include: highly constrained sites, such as insert sites between the backs of existing buildings eg inserting a new mews sites located adjacent to noisy infrastructure, such as a rail corridor in suburban contexts where there is a major road which cannot be calmed as a consequence of the new development, it may be preferable to create a new smaller street off the main road. In such cases, care should be taken to make sure that there is still some activation and overlooking onto the main road. In the above scenarios, the principles of the urban design requirement should be adhered to, even if they cannot be met exactly. Masterplanning Masterplans need to be informed by clear delineation of public, communal and private realms. It should be possible for future occupants and visitors to a development to read immediately which areas are public, communal or private, even if no fencing or security gating is provided. Space should be used efficiently so that there are no left over undefined spaces. Every part of a site must have a clear role and purpose within the masterplan and urban context. Overlooking All areas of public and communal space should be well overlooked by the new development or surrounding existing buildings to maximise passive surveillance of these realms. Communal spaces should be overlooked by those dwellings which have access to them. Private amenity, in contrast, should have minimal overlooking onto it, other than from the dwelling to which it is demised. Locating entrances Residential entrances to the public street or public realm should be as visible as possible, located onto the most activated streets. Tucking residential entrances 'round the side or back' should be avoided, even on retail streets. Where there is some other use at ground level, space must still be made available for the residential entrance to be on the most active street. The rationale behind this requirement is that it is the first 30m 'down the side street' off a busier street where customers would be most at risk of crime. Access and permeability Developments need either to work with existing and potential desire lines, or re-direct desire lines using buildings and impermeable barriers. In the latter context there should be no theoretically possible desire lines through the security doors of other buildings or cores. Problems are known to arise when residents perceive potential desire lines, but are not given security access to allow them to follow them. There is then a tendency for security doors to be broken on a regular basis. Where communal gardens exist within perimeter blocks, it is preferable to design entrances so that a common security key allows access directly into the communal garden from the public realm on most sides of the perimeter block, without needing to access into or through other building cores. Urban design ratios Principles set out in the Urban Design Compendium should be used to inform ratios of street and other open space widths to building heights. Separation distances Separation distances should be minimised, where the minimum acceptable distance should be determined by maintaining good internal daylighting in properties, especially living, dining and kitchen areas. Planning rules of thumb for separation distances are not necessarily applicable in higher density contexts. Visual privacy can be achieved by means other than large separation distances, such as angled windows, off-setting facing windows, or through the use of blinds. Tenure blindness All buildings and building cores should be completely tenure blind as observed from the public realm or from communal areas. The same quality of entrances, external cladding and other design features are expected throughout a new development Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

15 Concept Design Architecture Entrance sizes Strategic landscaping From early in the design process, space needs to be made available to incorporate attractive entrances to buildings where proportions are carefully considered. Consider increasing lobby height to create an impressive entrance space. Communal parts Beyond the entrance, the principle should be adopted to minimise all communal parts within buildings, in particular minimising the journey length within a building to reach each apartment. Wherever possible communal areas should be demised into private space as part of dwellings. An exit or entrance needs to be further away to ensure security because it is on a busy street. Where buildings have longer corridors, these should ideally be wider than the minimum requirements, to allow people to enjoy the journey to their home. Lift strategy The design of buildings should either avoid lifts, in the case of lower rise buildings, or make sure that an adequate number of lifts serve the homes in the building. The rationale for this requirement is to keep management costs to reasonable levels. Lifts can be avoided in five storey buildings by locating maisonettes with front door access on the fourth storey. A similar strategy can be employed in eight storey buildings, by locating maisonettes with front door access on the seventh storey. Where lifts are required the design should aim to achieve homes being accessed per lift. Strategic London Design Standards At the concept design stage some space contingency must be included for dwellings: a minimum contingency of fiver per cent is recommended. Design teams should work to the London Housing Design Guide minimums on unit size. At the concept design stage, thought needs to be given to ensure that more detailed requirements, such as minimum dimensions, can be accommodated at a later stage. Balconies Balconies should be designed to maximise their use in all weather. Consideration needs to be given to the level of enclosure required to make a balcony useful. For example, partially insetting balconies can reduce wind exposure and improve ability for the balcony to act as a sun-trap. Where building faces are particularly exposed or face onto noisier public environments, balconies should generally be fully inset. On very noisy fa ades note should be taken of the London Housing Design Guide requirement to internalise the external space. The same principles apply for terraces and roofgardens: the higher up a building, the more enclosure is necessary to protect from wind and make the balcony a usable space. Street hierarchy A well-considered landscape strategy should be employed to create a clear street hierarchy and to help define public, communal and private spaces. Amenity solutions Amenity provision should be provided as fairly as possible within a new development, so that all homes have equivalent access to private and communal amenity. It is not appropriate to provide ground floor units with large gardens, where other units have no access to amenity; the other dwellings would require good-sized balconies, private rooftop or terraced space. Communal space should never be considered an adequate alternative to private space; it is a very different type of amenity space. All dwellings must have some private external space. Terracing and rooftop amenity As a general rule, the higher up a building, the more private any external space should be. Communal terraces and communal roof gardens should be avoided. Where communal terracing and communal roof gardens are unavoidable, it should be recognised that these will need to be highly managed. Where communal terracing and communal roof gardens are unavoidable, secured by design principles need to be employed to make sure that they are adequately overlooked and that access can be suitably controlled. Play space Dedicated play areas for young children (up to four years of age) should be provided in the communal space. Take into account how much noise children will make in play areas when deciding their location. All play equipment should meet UK safety requirements and be lowmaintenance Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

16 Detailed Design and Sustainability Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

17 Detailed Design and Sustainability Objectives: The detailed design involves taking forward a selected concept design to formulate the design solution in sufficient detail, enabling submission of a detailed planning application. Fundamentally the detailed design should provide a good sense of what the final development will look like, clearly setting out how it will be structured and laid out, both in and around buildings. The planning documents will need to set out: access to and from the entire development, how it fits within the urban grain and how each new dwelling will be accessed external appearance and how this relates to the existing townscape siting of all buildings, how these relate to the spaces around them and whether there are any overlooking issues (whether onto the site, within the scheme, or of existing properties and private spaces) details of surrounding infrastructure and implications arising sustainability commitments and energy solutions demarcation of public and private realms and design of boundaries landscaping As the detailed design progresses, aspects of the generic design objectives that need to be considered include: 1 2 Quality for customers does each home in the scheme provide adequate comfort and privacy? Has each habitable room been considered with respect to lighting, overheating, noise (from inside and outside) and ventilation? how are units laid out and how do they compare with the guidance provided? what is the lowest performing dwelling in the scheme? is the overall design of the buildings and development one in which people could feel proud to live? are facilities such as refuse and cycle parking easily accessible for customers? do all the dwellings meet lifetime homes requirements? Any exceptions need to be made explicit to determine whether they are acceptable. Sustainable assets have communal parts of buildings been minimised? are communal parts internal or external; have they been designed appropriately to deliver good quality and add value to customer s experience? is the energy strategy commercially viable? do the selected renewable and recycling technologies have a good track record? has consideration been given to maintenance of all key aspects of the buildings? has consideration been given to ensure that all aspects of the buildings would be easy to inspect? Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

18 Detailed Design and Sustainability External and communal parts Building fa ades Detailed landscaping Boundaries and boundary treatments Building entrance appearance Building entrance design Floor-to-ceiling heights Communal gardens Security Buffer zones Corridors and decks Communal parts Refuse stores Bicycle parking Dwellings Apartment layout Apartment room configurations Courtyards, balconies, terraces and roof gardens Windows Balcony fronts and sides Noise Fixtures and fittings Sustainability Sustainability strategy Communal systems Renewables Ventilation Water recycling Ecological roofs External and communal parts Building fa ades Fa ades must be highly durable in detailing and material selection. There should generally be some vertical variation in the elevation. Brick is generally preferred for low rise buildings. Consideration should be given to differentiating ground and where appropriate first floors of apartment blocks to make the building more prominent on the street. Detailed Landscaping Material selection and planting should be durable and lowmaintenance. Boundaries and boundary treatments Boundaries and boundary treatments must be designed in for planning. Boundaries and boundary treatments are a critical part of any scheme and represent a key element of the visual success of a development. If boundaries and boundary treatments are not properly designed at point of planning, there is a tendency for them to be dumbed-down during the detailed design and construction process. This can be detrimental to the overall success of a new development. Building entrance appearance Communal entrances should be welcoming and make a statement depending on the size of the scheme. It is important for building entrances located on quiet streets to make a statement. In contrast, residential entrances may be downplayed on busy high streets, for example when incorporated into a retail frontage. Building entrance design All communal entrances should have a high degree of transparency, enabling observation from the street into the foyer interior and vice versa. Designs should avoid large glazed elements. Except where a concierge is proposed, post-boxes should be incorporated into entrances, so that letters can be posted from outside and then collected from inside. Post-boxes, lifts and entrances, or doors to stairwells, should always be clearly visible from within the foyer area on entering through the front door. Intercom panels should be provided in the wall beside the entrance and where necessary be weather protected. Landscaping directly in front of residential entrances is very important to minimise tail-gating into buildings. There should not be any seating directly outside entrances. Floor-to-ceiling heights In high density areas the floor-toceiling heights of ground and in some cases, first floors, should be greater than higher floors, to ensure that good daylighting is achieved in lower level units. Increasing the height of the ground floor also provides extra flexibility in areas where it might be appropriate to have a different use at ground level. Communal gardens Communal gardens should be activated and designed as multipurpose areas. Apartments opening directly onto communal gardens should have their own area of defensible space. Ground level communal gardens should have direct public access through secure gates without customers needing to enter building cores. Design teams are encouraged to think in terms of designing a quadrangle (quad) rather than a back garden. It is expected that residents will use this space in a number of ways, including routes to cores of higher level flats, accessing bicycle parking or lower level car parking play for children and leisure. Security There should be no more than 10 dwellings behind the last layer of security. In larger developments this will likely require a second layer of security on each floor. Secondary security should be provided through a fob-activated security door on each level. Good security is paramount, though it can be overdone as much as it can be poor. Principles applied to outside space and the public realm apply equally to communal parts of buildings: the less overlooked and less active an area is, the more private it should be. Security should always be done in a sensitive manner, best achieved through good masterplan structure. This requirement may be reconsidered where a concierge is planned. In cores serving 10 or less dwellings, a primary layer of security is needed. In cores serving 20 or more dwellings, secondary layers of security should be provided. Where a core serves between 10 and 20 dwellings, the Project Manager should to decide on the optimum solution, taking into consideration the intended occupants of the dwellings and the character of the surrounding area. Buffer zones Ground floor apartments and maisonettes should have a buffer zone of private space, creating an area of defensible space from the public street. Where there is greenery incorporated into a buffer zone, it should be assumed this will be managed by the management company or landlord, and not the householder, and be designed with this in mind. Corridors and decks Deck design should give customers a sense of arrival within the corridors, in front of and around front doors. Corridors and decks should avoid creating monotonous passageways without any variation. Front doors to flats should, where possible, be set back slightly to create a better sense of arrival. Other options for creating a sense of arrival at the front doors to dwellings include variation in colours and flooring materials. Communal parts It should be possible for daylight to enter internal communal parts. They should be easily ventilated, preferably by customers Design Vision & Guide Design Vision & Guide

19 Detailed Design and Sustainability Refuse stores Communal refuse stores should have only one point of access to the exterior of the building. They should be designed to be easy to maintain and clean. Communal refuse stores should be at grade, be within 50m of the street and avoid the use of hoists. In any flatted development, waste stores should be presumed to be within buildings and only provided as exterior stand-alone items as an exception. There must be no through route bypassing security into the building. Waste stores and bicycle parking must always be entirely separate. Communal refuse stores should have good security and require fob access. Bicycle parking Secure bicycle parking for residents should always be in a convenient place for residents and be wind- and water-proof. It should not be possible to see into the interior of any secure bicycle parking from the public realm. Secure bicycle parking should be located in a place where it is well overlooked by residents. Developments with underground or in-building car parking should provide bicycle parking in the same area. Location of cycle parking should be given preference over car parking in such a shared space. Dwellings Apartment layout There should be no line of site from the front door into either bedrooms or bathrooms. Ideally bedrooms and bathrooms should be designed to be furthest from the front door, as naturally happens in any house. There should be line of sight from the front door to an external window. Bedrooms and bathrooms should be treated as the more private parts of apartments and located accordingly. It is recognised that in many instances, especially in dual aspect units, this may not be possible and that other criteria may take precedence. Apartment room configurations With the exception of studio and one-bedroom, and single aspect twobedroom apartments, all dwellings should aim to have two separate living spaces kitchen-diner and living space or kitchen and diningliving space. This criterion is strongly driven by customer preferences and may need to be applied to smaller units in certain parts of London, or relaxed in larger units in other parts of London. There is no particular preference between whether the two separate living spaces should be kitchendiner and living space or kitchen and dining-living space. A mix of these options should be provided in any development. Courtyards, balconies, terraces and roof gardens Each private external space should be treated as a room in its own right, designed to be a useful part of the dwelling and integrated as well as possible with the interior rooms. For family dwellings, the exterior space should be adjoined to living spaces rather than bedrooms. Windows Living rooms and open plan rooms should have at least one floor-toceiling (or almost floor-to-ceiling) window to promote better lighting levels. Bedrooms do not need to have full height windows unless there is a daylighting prerogative. In any individual rooms, full height windows should be accompanied by a smaller window to enable occupants to have fine control over ventilation. Windows should always be provided with reasonable reveals to reduce the rate at which they become dirty. Balcony fronts and sides For inset balconies, the balcony front should be clear (or very lightly misted) glass to maximise daylight into the home. For outset balconies, then the front of the balcony should generally be more opaque to provide privacy on the balcony (for example, frosted glass or punched metal). The sides of outset balconies should be opaque and windproof. In developments with deck access, thought needs to be given to ensure that this is not detrimental to the daylighting of interiors. Noise Noise and vibration performance should be at least 3dB (preferably 5dB) better than minimum building regulations requirements. Fixtures and fittings Unless otherwise directed it should be assumed that enclosed blind systems will be incorporated into windows. Sustainability Sustainability strategy A strategy of fabric first should always be adhered to. Wherever possible, buildings should be designed to avoid having to include any renewable energy technologies. Communal systems Genesis will not install biomass systems. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems should only be considered for developments of more than 500 dwellings. CHP systems should only ever be considered for smaller developments when there are significant other land uses, which can spread the load. Communal heating systems should only be considered for schemes of more than 150 dwellings. Communal heating systems should only ever be considered for smaller developments when there are significant other land uses, which can spread the load. Genesis has undertaken detailed analysis of schemes involving communal and combined systems and found that below the above stated figures, such systems are not commercially viable and struggle to be technically viable. Renewables Solar water systems for flatted developments should only be considered where there are communal heating systems and where a solar water system can be used to pre-heat water. In flatted developments photovoltaic systems should be used to provide power to communal parts. Other forms of renewable technology such as air source heat pumps will be considered in exceptional circumstances. Customers will need to be trained to understand the benefits of such systems where they are installed. Ventilation All units should have whole house ventilation systems with heat recovery. 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