PDS supply housing project with sustainable alternative

In 2009 Fat Architects made it to press following their cutting edge design of Woodward Place in New Islington, one of many affordable homes projects being developed by Great Places at the time

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For this development Fat Architects worked closely with the residents of 23 social housing units to make a strong urban street frontage using conventional construction techniques and incorporating symbolic references to the idea of home. Fat Architects were awarded a housing design award for their efforts and the residents who moved into Woodward Place where thrilled with their new homes.

In order to reduce costs at the development stage the architect specified an array of softwood and plywood materials but unfortunately these didn’t offer the life expectancy required for this project and just 9 years on from completion, it was again found to be in need of a full scale refurbishment. With this in mind Great Places appointed a new architect who prescribed higher specification materials which would meet the requirements of the project well into the future. On this occasion the whole life cost benefits were considered rather than just the upfront costs.

DJ Hughes construction was contracted by Great Places to carry out the refurbishment working alongside IGL Architects. All 3 companies have worked together on various occasions and hold longstanding business relationships. Trusting in their field knowledge and professional opinions, IGL Architects approached PDS seeking advice on the project. PDS offered a specification proposal that met the requirement of the project and shortly after this an order was made replacing all the balconies and gates on the estate as well as all new GRP doorsets.

PDS’ worked with International Timber to establish a solution; their recommendation was to invest in Accoya and Tricoya, a durable, stable and sustainable alternative modified through to the core. With a service life of 60 years and little maintenance needed throughout this time, modified wood proved a much more sustainable option than the softwood and plywood originally used. This benefit is of course reflected in the price however when the cost is consider alongside the long term performance, the Accoya/Tricoya option stands to be a cost effective solution.

PDS Sales Director Paul Goggins stresses the importance of using durable and low maintenance materials for these types of projects. He commented ‘Housing associations should look at the long term performance of the products rather than the initial cost. They have a long term responsibility for the estate and although incorporating sustainable products in the original specification will increase the initial cost of the development, in the long term it will save the client a lot money and time when it comes to refurbishing the site’

Phil Taylor International Timber Sales Director, commented; “extensive laboratory and field testing by leading institutes around the world has shown the performance of acetylated wood to be extremely reliable. It is so reliable that for many years it has been - and continues to be - used by scientists as the benchmark against which other treatments and modifications are measured. This project needed a product that can perform and be reliable with little maintenance over a long period of time, in offering Accoya and Tricoya for this project we found the perfect match, it will give many trouble free years of service to the client.”

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