Chinbrook Meadows, London
This project is the latest in a series of self build projects which have been supported by Lewisham Council since the original 'Walter Segal' schemes built in the eartly 1980s. Once again, the council has allowed the opportunity for local people to take control of their environment by directly influencing both the design and construction of their own homes.
Built on low lying land adjacent to the River Quaggy, these houses incorporate the first group self build usage of a pre-fabricated timber frame system promoted by Fillcrete and produced and erected by Ellis Hill. Floor cassettes and wall sections have been manufactured to a tight dimensional accuracy in the factory using Masonite sections (see links), and the entire 14 houses lifted & fixed into place in under a week. The frames were spray filled with Warmcel recycled cellulose insulation after the first fix of services. Energy SAP ratings are in the high nineties for all dwellings.
The project has made use of a 'Design & Build' contract, with the original architects novated to produce the working details. This was in order to ensure that the original structural and design concepts were built in line with the self builders requirements. Additional flexibility has been achieved by designing the houses with 'attic truss' roofs, thereby allowing for future expansion of the living spaces upwards into the roofs.
The contractor has been responsible for building all the groundworks, structure, cladding and first fix; the self builders have now moved onto the site to carry out the second fix of joinery and all services, the fitting out of the kitchens and bathrooms, and of course the decorations - all to their own specification.
The total length of the construction period will be 14 months, with the self builders on site for the final five months, and is due to finish in April 2000. Costs will be less than expected for a full Design & Build contract. This project illustrates what can be achieved with a carefully considered use of resources, and represents a new approach to self build, with a reduced timescale and fixed costs being top priorities for the developer.
Developer: South London Family Housing Association (SLFHA)