Lindum Street Modular Residential

Sector: Residential
Status: In concept pre-planning

Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire is undergoing a central urban regeneration scheme, injecting investment into the heart of the industrial town. As part of this regeneration, Lungfish Architects were commissioned to design a scheme suitable for transforming a brownfield site into a residential area.

Built on intensive research and development, and working with a private housing developer who shared our desire to rethink residential building, our team set out to look at a modular housing approach that would maximise the numbers of apartments achievable on site, whilst improving the appearance of a brownfield site that is currently in use as a car park and provides access to an adjacent multi-storey.

The developer for this project approached Lungfish because of our experience in taking a modular approach to school building, which minimises the time spent onsite, provides cost certainty, and allows rapid evaluation of possible plots. They also valued our team’s extensive residential experience.

For this landmark project, we’ve taken everything we know about modular school building, alongside our team’s residential knowledge and translated it into a developed concept for a multi-storey offsite residential design, providing a total of 80 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

About the project

The proposed site consists of an 80-space carpark with access to an adjacent multi-storey car park, and a corner site that is currently unused. The car park is an important income generator for Scunthorpe City Council and, through working closely with the Local Authority and their stakeholders, we established that the retention of this income, and therefore the car park, was a key driver for their business case.

As a result, our team proposed a design for the development of a five-storey building on a podium base, over the existing surface car park and multi-storey access area. The building would create a mixture of one- and two-bed units over the five floors, providing a total gross floor area of 6,160m2 (not including open circulation areas).

To reduce the duration of construction and disruption to the local area immediately surrounding the site, we devised a solution that uses offsite construction methods. This approach is perfect for tight urban plots, tough timescales and ambitious targets. In addition, a modular approach can significantly speed up project timescales as the units can be constructed offsite, at the same time as the groundwork preparations onsite. The modules can then be craned in in just a matter of days, limiting construction traffic in the local area and reducing the project’s overall carbon footprint.

The layout of the apartments have been designed using the Technical Housing Standards, the nationally described space standard, and not only comply with, but exceed the required standards for gross internal floor areas for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

“We are delighted to be working with Lungfish who share our passion for innovative design along with a wide range of knowledge and experience of alternative methods of construction. Our preferred method of construction complements our pioneering business model by working with local authorities in identifying and developing brown field sites. This approach, we believe, truly demonstrates private enterprise supporting local need delivering ‘quality homes fast’.”



Barry Hawkins, Project Director

OUTCOMES

By helping to achieve housing targets and regenerating a city centre plot, the project has won the support of the local authority. Since the concept was submitted to the council, the project has grown to include a possible second phase of development, with the inclusion of a further 100+ apartments suitable for key workers in the health sector. An important aspect of the design was the ability to take the designed components for this one project and quickly apply them to other key projects within the Local Authority’s development portfolio.

Our extensive research and development into modular residential design has created an efficient solution that can be rolled out anywhere and adapted to any local environment. The same apartment layout that makes up the Lindum Street complex, can be used in isolation or on smaller developments. This efficient method of delivery for individual projects is now being applied not only within Lincolnshire, but across England with live projects from Surrey to Derbyshire.

This project has informed and moulded Lungfish’s approach to residential design. We are now developing this approach into modular solutions for low rise family homes, providing affordable and fast solutions for local authorities, housing associations and private developers alike. The concept has become the blueprint for a powerful kit of parts that will enable incredibly fast and cost-effective modular housing builds right across the UK. As the Government looks to increase cost-effective residential building nationwide through the development of brownfield sites, the concept of Lindum Street has the potential to grow even further.

“This is an exciting project for us. Not just for the challenge of building around an existing, fully operating car park on a restrictive urban site, but also because it involves an underlying, wider-reaching R&D venture which will see us designing anything from a single storey house extension to a townhouse to multi-storey residential property.”



Richard Murray, Architectural Technologist

OUR MODULAR RESIDENTIAL SOLUTIONS

Our latest research and development projects and commissions have involved the development of generic layout designs for residential schemes. These schemes range from affordable housing to high-end sustainable buildings, to care and extra care facilities. Together, our team have built a concept that starts with one-bedroom apartments through to whole-centre extra care villages. In all instances, our approach utilises offsite construction techniques which in turn maximise the efficiency of design and develop design-led solutions which can be rolled out across multiple sites.

Sustainable design is the central theme explored throughout the studies, as well as culminating in the most efficient way to order and construct new buildings. Additionally, we are involved in successful projects sat client side, offering strategy, advice on estate rationalisation or delivery of programmes of works, working alongside Tier 1 main contractors on projects with significant constraints such as programme and budget. Smaller projects have been recently completed, with others expected to go to site in the near future.

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