ISSUE 2 SUMMER 2011
Care Home Design wins Green Award Daybreak, a brand new care home for young adults with severe long-term learning difficulties, has been announced winner of North West Leicestershire District Council’s prestigious Green Footprints Challenge – Sustainable Urban Design award. Designed by the team at rg+p, the care home provides facilities to enable young adults with learning difficulties, to experience the benefits of having their own home, albeit with onsite assistance. Taking inspiration from its surroundings of the National Forest, the development has been designed to blend with its location,
making use of natural materials such as rustic brick and timber board cladding, portraying a small settlement in a forestry setting. Bill Smedley, managing director, rg+p said: “Designing amenities of this nature is always a challenge. However, Daybreak’s location, on the boundaries of the beautiful National Forest, gave us the inspiration we needed to create this superb sustainable scheme. “We are delighted to have been part of this important project and, together with East Midlands Housing Association and Lindum Homes, are proud that Daybreak has been recognised as winner of this award.”
Doing the Double for YMCA Following the successful refurbishment of YMCA Derbyshire’s Campus for Learning and Development, featured in our last issue, rg+p has recently completed a similar project on behalf of YMCA Leicester. With a contract value of £4m, the project includes the refurbishment of the Grade II listed building on Granby Street and utilised every department in the Practice. With meticulous planning and extensive liaison with the Local Authority Conservation Officer, the rg+p project team has totally transformed the outdated accommodation.
The newly renovated facility provides 46 self contained units designed in a series of clusters: 6 beds, 4 beds and a studio, and includes a new raised amenity deck area at the rear of the building to provide garden and outdoor space for residents. Project manager James Badley said: “The vision was to provide sustainable accommodation where residents can live independently in a supportive environment – I truly believe we have achieved this.”
> > > Landmark Transformed page 2
Pictured: James Badley and Paul Brown, YMCA.
Tresham College page 3
Student Accommodation page 3
Spotlight on Planning Consultancy Service
Historic Leicester Transformed MD’s MESSAGE Welcome to the second edition of The Aspect and I’m pleased to say, since our last issue - six months ago (!) a lot has happened and the Practice continues to be busy. We have more jobs on site than ever before, with many more at design or planning stage. As you will see, the diversity of projects remains extensive and every department within the Practice is working to full capacity. Of course, this is down to you, our clients, business associates and contacts, to whom I would like to say a very big thank you for your continued support. We have had some significant achievements recently, none so pleasing as being involved with Daybreak, a care home development designed by our very own Laura Davison and a team under my supervision. The scheme has won the Green Footprint Challenge Award in the Sustainable Urban Design category (front page) – so, congratulations to all involved. Sustainability is now a priority for housing providers and indeed private clients. As a Practice we strive to ‘push the envelope’ in terms of cost effective ecosolutions versus design excellence – no easy challenge when the construction industry goalposts continue to be moved. However, Daybreak’s award is testament to rg+p’s flexibility and our determination to achieve best value, whilst embracing cutting edge design. With ‘challenges’ in mind, we are currently working on a couple of high profile ‘green’ projects: one involves the design of 90 dwellings to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 without the need for renewables, and the other is a feasibility study for an office development which is aiming to achieve BREEAM ‘Outstanding’. Together with the updates on projects, in this edition, we also put the Planning Consultancy Service in the spotlight. The department often goes unrecognised; however, without extensive knowledge and in some cases extreme tenacity, many projects would not make it off the drawing board. So all that remains for me to say is ... enjoy five minutes with us and flick through the pages of this Summer’s edition of The Aspect. Very best wishes
Bill Smedley, MD
**NEWSFLASH** We are delighted to announce that rg+p has been appointed onto the London and Quadrant Housing Trust Framework – read more in the next edition of The rg+p Aspect 2
r Soulsby and Leicester’s City Mayor, Sir Pete y Mills the proposed designs for Abbe
rg+p’s Bill Smedley look over
It was a proud moment for the rg+p team, as The Wolsey, one of the Practice’s largest affordable housing projects to date, was officially opened by Leicester’s City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby at a celebratory ceremony attended by VIPs, local councillors, new residents and their families. Developed by housing and regeneration group, LHA-ASRA in partnership with contractor and developer William Davis Ltd, the £14.4m project has breathed new life into a former knitwear factory in the heart of Leicester and now provides 63 Extra-Care and 40 affordable new homes. rg+p’s managing director, Bill Smedley said: “This has been an incredible project for
New GPs’ Surgery for Steeple Claydon rg+p has expanded its extensive health sector portfolio by embarking on a design for a new GPs’ surgery in Steeple Claydon. On behalf of long standing client, Manor Oak Homes Ltd, rg+p has submitted plans earmarking a redundant agricultural storage depot site on the edge of Steeple Claydon, Bucks, for the £2.5m project. The development incorporates the state-ofthe-art GP surgery with associated facilities and services along with 13 new family homes.
Proposed new development at Steeple Claydon
Project manager, Rob Woolston rg+p said: “We have just submitted plans for the surgery and although we are currently awaiting a decision we are hopeful that we can add this prestigious project to our portfolio.”
Landmark Proposed new homes in Kettering
re-generation project in Kettering After many months in the rg+p pipeline, demolition has finally begun to transform Tresham College of Further & Higher Education’s former campus at St Mary’s Road, Kettering into a brand new housing development. The £8m project, will provide 107 new houses, comprising a mix of 40 affordable homes on behalf of Waterloo Housing, to be built by rg+p’s long term client, William Davis Ltd, together with eight homes for private sale and 59 retirement living apartments. rg+p’s project manager Rob Woolston said:
everyone involved and it’s been great to be part of it.” He continued: “The design brief had many complexities, not least retaining and incorporating the original cameo of Sir Cardinal Wolsey into the design ... however, the end result is stunning and one we can all be extremely proud of. “Even though The Wolsey is now complete, we can’t put our pencils down just yet, we are working hard on planning and designs for the redevelopment of the adjacent Abbey Mills building which, if all goes to plan, could create a further 10 houses and 24 flats and another iconic transformation for Leicester.”
Photography courtesy of William Davis Ltd.
Hosting in Harrogate moving to Manchester As specialist architects in the social housing sector, the Chartered Institute of Housing annual conference in Harrogate is a key date on the rg+p calendar and this June we hosted a VIP lunch for clients, contacts and influencers within the affordable housing arena. Following this successful event, we would like to say a special thank you to all who joined us at the Majestic Hotel. It hopefully goes without saying that we value your ongoing support,
Specialists in Student Accommodation The massive regeneration of Leicester City Centre, including expansion to both De Montfort and Leicester Universities has prompted a major requirement for student accommodation in the city and as a result, rg+p has several such projects either on the drawing board or nearing completion. From brand new purpose-built accommodation, such as the £10m project to provide 479 bed spaces on disused land on Upperton Road on behalf of Jamie Lewis Residential, to the £2m conversion of an existing Victorian factory on Eastern Boulevard on behalf of Eastern Boulevard Ltd, which will see a further 65 bed spaces, the diversity and complexity of projects is vast. rg+p’s Tom Hart said: “There is an incredible amount of new student accommodation required to support the popularity of the city’s universities and rg+p is in the privileged position of being at
“After Tresham College moved to its new purpose built accommodation in the town nearly four years ago, the old campus has fallen into a state of disrepair.” He continued: “The site was identified as strategically important for regeneration by the Local Authority and once rg+p was commissioned, it was full steam ahead – context and character studies were carried out, designs were drawn, planning issues addressed and finally work is underway – we are delighted and cannot wait to see the completed project next year.”
Student accommodation on Upperton Road, Leiceste r
the forefront of designing and facilitating these – it’s a very exciting time for both the Practice and the city.”
particularly in these straitened times and look forward to the next CIOH conference in Manchester ... see you there! Oh, and watch out for news of where we will be in 2012.
NEWSin brief Strata Homes We are delighted to be working closely with Strata Homes on a number of developments across the Midlands area. Strata is a privately owned regional housebuilder based in Doncaster with a long track record of delivering high quality innovative housing across the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East. We are currently working on over a dozen projects varying in size from 30 dwellings up to nearly 200, on a number of sites right across the Midlands. Look out for more information on these projects in future editions of rg+p Aspect. Long Street, Wigston rg+p acted as Employer’s Agent, CDM-C and Code Assessor on a scheme of 6 houses recently handed over to Waterloo Housing Association. The houses are all designed to achieve Code 3 for Sustainable Homes and have solar hot water and an energy efficient boiler. All of the units are for shared ownership and the developer was Long Brothers (Leicester) Ltd. Rosebery Road,Anstey Riverside Housing has recently taken occupation of 8 houses in Anstey. The site was developed and constructed by Aston Down and achieved Code 3 Certification by using Air Source Heat Pumps. rg+p acted as Employer’s Agent, HQI Assessor and CDM-C.
Recognising the importance that the next generation of architects has a well rounded understanding of what it is like working in a busy, cutting-edge Practice, the team at rg+p has this year, appointed four architectural students to gain experience with the Practice over their Summer break. With Bill Smedley are Becky Sharpe studying for a BA(Hons) degree in Architecture at University of Lincoln, Hannah Gorvin, who is studying for a BSc
in Architecture at the University of Bath, Vejay Lal who is studying for an MEng in Architecture and Environmental Design at Nottingham University, and Aman Saundh, studying for a BA(Hons) at Northumbria University. Vejay said: “I have high ambitions for the future. I am looking to gain the experience I require to complete my Part 2 & 3 qualifications and become a fully qualified architect within a Practice similar to rg+p.”
You’re Hired! Aspiring IT professional, Habiba Shaikh has taken the first steps to achieving her ambition by being Maureen shows Habiba the ropes appointed business administration and IT apprentice with rg+p. Under the expert guidance of Practice Manager, Maureen Carberry, Habiba is learning the ropes and being trained in all aspects of the administration process including, accounts, reception and project filing. Supported by QDOS – a work-based learning provider in Leicester, Habiba is working towards achieving Level 3 NVQ in IT and business administration and attends learning sessions twice a month. Commenting on her new apprenticeship, Habiba said: “I’m really enjoying my time at rg+p and am learning lots of new skills. My apprenticeship here will stand me in good stead for my ongoing career and hopefully one day, I can become an IT professional.”
Planning Consultancy Service In this edition of The Aspect, we are shining the spotlight on the Planning Consultancy Service, a department which, on the whole, goes unrecognised but without whom rg+p would not achieve the results, place jobs on site and retain the reputation we have for tenacity and delivery of projects. Believe it or not, the planning ‘team’ comprises only one person... Andy Ward who is responsible for everything from feasibility studies; concept development; preapplication discussions with Councils; application preparation; submissions and negotiations – including Section 106 planning obligations; condition discharges; minor amends; times extensions and by no means least... appeals. “My work is extremely diverse and I need to be responsive to events generated in-house and externally by clients, Councils and others,” says Andy. “I can’t really have a rigid structure to my day as this would undermine my flexibility to respond quickly
to ever changing situations.” The department is very busy at the moment with some very tricky planning projects bubbling away and many impressive successes under its belt. Currently working on projects in 11 counties, Andy is liaising with over 25 councils and on behalf of ??? of clients. Andy continues: “Intensive project work will often see me doing a lot of background reading and internet research before producing a document or providing advice to colleagues, clients and others.” Andy has been involved in planning for many years and has extensive experience within the sector. After obtaining his degree in Town and Country Planning, he has worked all over the country in public sector roles. He took the leap over to the private sector five years ago and has never looked back, ensuring that rg+p’s planning department is leading the way in architectural planning – it sounds as though he’s certainly on target!
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Dress Down Day Pay day is always a special day for the rg+p team and not for the obvious reason! It’s the day when suits are sent to the dry cleaners, heels are put to the back of the wardrobe, jeans and t-shirts are the order of the day AND an inter-office challenge is afoot. The most recent ‘challenge’ was a skittles match held at the Royal Oak public house in Cossington, where ‘Team Hannah’ comprising Becky Sharpe, Peter Tranor, Hannah Gorvin, Aman Saundh, Bill Smedley, Andy Lennard and Tom Hart, convincingly beat ‘Team Alex’ comprising Alex Briars, Vejay Lal, Dave McSwiney, Ian Partridge, John Roberts, Rob Woolston and Andy Ward, winning 3 games to 1, with Rob winning a special prize for achieving the highest score. There is a serious side to the frivolities though, with every Dress Down Pay Day event raising money for charity. This year’s chosen charity is Motor Neurones Disease and to date the Practice has raised nearly £1500 – well done and thank you to all involved.
The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author’s and not those of the company or the individuals mentioned unless quoted. The rg+p Aspect is printed on paper from sustainable forests. Produced by AVA PR · 01455 558005 · www.avapr.biz