Page 1

coverA3 171:Layout 1 23/03/2012 11:28 Page 1

BUILDING DESIGN &

CONSTRUCTION THE MAGAZINE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

www.richard-irvin.co.uk ISSUE 173

Onsite Energy Self Sufficiency

ISSUE 173

GRANT SHAPPS:

Ensuring the productive and optimal use of energy resources, while limiting environmental impact Richard Irvin offer a broad range of energy services and are committed, with the use of energy audits, to realise the energy value of an estate, and meet the client’s energy demands. We deploy different options in order to decrease wasted energy levels therefore reducing imported energy costs

SOLAR THERMAL INSULATION SERVICES AIR SOURCE/GROUND SOURCE MICROWIND BIOMASS BOILERS HIGH EFFICIENCY BOILERS UPGARDES

RICHARD IRVIN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY Irvin House, Hareness Road, Altens Industrial Estate, Aberdeen AB12 3LE TEL: +44 (0)1224 367180 FAX: +44 (0)1224 367181

BUILDING DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

THE NEXT GENERATION OF GREEN PROPERTIES

ALSO INSIDE... HOMES IN HAVERING | ETDE | CITY RESPONSE | THE FORESTRY COMMISSION | ARDMORE GROUP ...PLUS MUCH MORE


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 25/07/2012 10:43 Page 88

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

STRIVING FOR

EXCELLENCE Network Stadium Housing Association invest all its wealth, creativity and talent in the challenge of providing more homes for the communities

H

aving started as a relatively small operation, Network Stadium Housing Association now has some very ambitious growth plans. They’re based on continued investment in its housing stock, a new homes development programme that aims to deliver many properties, providing quality front line services and a continuing commitment to a social purpose that involves and supports its tenants. The organisation was originally the Brent People’s Housing Association, was renamed Stadium Housing Association and then

88

gained its current name in 2011. Network Stadium is the founding member of Network Housing Group, which comprises of five other London based housing associations: London Strategic Housing, Community Trust Housing, Willow Housing, Mitali Housing and Riversmead as well as Solon Community Network, an independent resident involvement consultancy. The Group as a whole has some 18,000 properties, including 300 commercial units, and Network Stadium is the largest member with around 9,000 homes under management. It retains a significant presence in Brent but has been

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 25/07/2012 10:43 Page 89

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

89


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 25/07/2012 10:43 Page 90

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION broadening its base across many London boroughs and continues to do so. Growth is largely through an ambitious development programme, with over 2,000 homes scheduled to be built by the Group by 2015 in addition to 500 already on site. The association has been building to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 for some time, long before it became mandatory. The organisation’s approach to development is somewhat unique for a housing association. Executive Director Susmita Sen, who has over twenty years of experience in delivering housing services, explains: “We ask our architects to deliver concept drawings when bidding for work so we can better visualise and understand the ideas of various architects. We also tend to hold design competitions for architects on our larger projects, to ensure we commission the best team for the project. Some of our buildings are quite spectacular because one of our missions is to ensure that we win design awards. We want to leave the local environment with something that has some architectural merit, which residents will look at as a great landmark.” RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT A typical example is Vantage Point, a development of shared ownership apartments that won a design award due to the exceptional use of a small site as

90

well as it having the biggest green wall in Europe. Another feature of Network Stadium’s development strategy is its involvement of residents from an early stage. “Some schemes have seen a phenomenal amount of work with residents, going back to the concept design,” remarks Susmita. “You get a lot more buy in from residents when they can visualise what’s going to happen. In some cases, they’ve actually been able to help design their future home. “On the more local level, it’s not necessarily just about building homes and in one case residents helped to build a new outdoor gym and activity area for the local estate. The work was done as part of the consortium but it was our residents who drove the actual design of the activity area. Our ethos is about involving residents and, if you can get that right in development terms at the outset, design out any potential problem, then half the problem is solved.” Around 60% of Network Stadium’s housing stock is street properties rather than large estates and many of them are Victorian and Edwardian. This had an effect on the Decent Homes programme because the initial stock condition survey showed that most of the properties were in a pretty good condition and relatively few of them failed the standard. A consequence of this was that the organisation concentrated on the individual components that were failing and embarked on a programme of

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 01/08/2012 14:45 Page 91

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

replacing them. This year alone, it’s replacing 300 kitchens, 600 boilers and over 200 bathrooms, although the programme as a whole is now almost complete. Even when it is finished, however, the drive to increase standards and improve properties never truly comes to an end. RENEWABLE ENERGY The association has a £25 million annual budget for capital works, repairs and maintenance. Some of this is focused on improving insulation and energy efficiency, with the 10% least efficient properties being specifically targeted. There’s a process of installing biomass boilers in new build properties and renewable energy is under consideration for existing homes. A plan to install photovoltaic panels on some properties was shelved due to the feed-in tariff reduction but, as Susmita confirms, is now back on the agenda: “It was ready to roll and then, last year, it all stopped. The regime changed but, because the price of the panels has dropped by about 20-25%, there is a clearer plan to reintroduce that. We’ve been able to salvage the situation so the work is most certainly on this year’s programme.” All the maintenance and development work is outsourced and all contractors have to be on the Considerate Contractor scheme. The tendency previously was to use external consultants to manage projects but there has been a big effort to improve in-house skills. This has resulted in more projects being managed by association staff, leading to substantial savings and better control. “We have a partnering ethos that is very important to us,” explains Susmita. “It means we know CONTINUED ON PAGE 95 4

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

91


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 26/07/2012 12:30 Page 92


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 26/07/2012 12:30 Page 93


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 25/07/2012 10:43 Page 94

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

94

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 25/07/2012 10:43 Page 95

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

“SOME OF OUR BUILDINGS ARE QUITE SPECTACULAR BECAUSE ONE OF OUR MISSIONS IS TO ENSURE THAT WE WIN DESIGN AWARDS. WE WANT TO LEAVE THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT WITH SOMETHING THAT HAS SOME ARCHITECTURAL MERIT, WHICH RESIDENTS WILL LOOK AT AS A GREAT LANDMARK.” SUSMITA SEN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

where we are should anything go wrong better than we would do with a traditional form of contract. From the very start, we get the benefit of a partner in a contract without the difficulties that sometimes can arise. If you can get the attitude right at the start, then the partnering ethos will work very well with both development firms and in term contracts for property maintenance.” LOCAL NEEDS Although Network Stadium is part of the Network Group, it retains its own identity and the emphasis is very much on local needs. That means getting local residents involved and having a strategy to build family sized accommodation, whether for rent, shared ownership or outright sale. There’s also a flexible attitude where

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

new products and techniques are tested and then used if they are right for the organisation. Although there’s no official league table for housing associations, Network Stadium was ranked 30 in the country some four years ago. It’s now moved up several places to the extent that’s it’s estimated to be in the top fifteen with plans to rise higher. “We want to grow and we want to develop more homes,” comments Susmita. “One of the ways to do so is by having a good name and being seen, as far as the residents are concerned, to be investing in their homes. It’s about good management, property management, keeping homes that are

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

95


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 26/07/2012 12:33 Page 96

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

loved by the residents and their landlords. There’s an absolute commitment to improving the fabric of our stock as well as delivering new homes. “Part of our ambition is to grow inorganically and to do so we need to show that we’re good managers and that we’re developing. We’re absolutely committed to develop with residents on board. We are still committed to social purpose and private sales are used to cross subsidise our social objective. We’re still very much an organisation that wants to make sure that we’re delivering what our local authority partners want. We’re delivering what their needs are and that’s part of the agenda.” www.networkstadium.org.uk Tel: 0300 373 3000

96

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk


Network Stadium Housing :feature 2 26/07/2012 12:33 Page 97

HOUSING: NETWORK STADIUM HOUSING ASSOCIATION

www.bdcmagazine.co.uk

BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE

97

Network Stadium Housing Association article with Susmita Sen  

Building Design & Construction Magazine catches up with Susmita Sen at Network Stadium Housing to talk about the future of one of the south...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you