Chester Balmore Residential Scheme

London Borough of Camden

Project Outline

Located on the corner of Chester Road and Balmore Street, the new Camden Council housing development is a Passivhaus certified mixed tenure housing scheme.

Originally designed by Rick Mather Architects, Architype was commissioned from RIBA stage E to develop the technical details of the scheme, helping it achieve the stringent Passivhaus requirements.

The mixed tenure development provides 53 residential units, 500m2 of commercial space and generous public circulation routes. A key aim of the project was to provide comfortable, affordable, attractive, low energy housing, which suited the Highgate area, continuing the local authority's legacy of successful council developments.

The development consists of three main buildings, breaking up the site and responding to surrounding context, which is largely two or three story buildings. The most prominent corner of the site is occupied at street level by commercial units with apartments above, and two additional blocks to the rear comprising of maisonettes and more apartments. Shared external circulation space has been incorporated between the blocks, and a public access walkway along the edge of the site knits the building into the urban fabric.

Completion / June ‘14
Gross Internal Floor Area
Varying Unit Sizes
Construction Type
Reinforced Concrete Frame / Masonry
Total / £10,000,000

"The Chester Balmore residential development is an exemplar project that demonstrates excellent sustainability credentials in terms of overall design parameters, material selection, construction methods and long term energy consumption."

2015 Judges Panel, The Civic Trust Awards
Shortlist for London Planning Awards 2013/14


The Rick Mather Architects design maximises the sense of space in the living areas, achieved through the provision of ample storage, good day lighting, efficiently planned circulation and providing up to 10m2 of space above the minimum requirement per dwelling. Architype worked hard to retain these positive design decisions, despite needing to amend the plan slightly and re-work the wall make up to suit Passivhaus requirements.


Our expertise in Passivhaus and significantly detailed technical design has helped overcome challenges faced in trying to achieve an airtightness level below 0.6ach@pa - the minimum level acceptable for Passivhaus. The apartments offer annual heating bills of less than £100 per year - an attractive offer in today's market of ever rising energy bills.

Delivering a Compliant Design

Through the detailed design and construction stage, Architype maintained a fully compliant scheme in line with Lifetime Homes, Housing Quality Indicators and Code for Sustainable Homes. The sustainability of the projects has been measured against energy, CO2, health and well-being, management, water, waste and ecology.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

From the outset of our involvement, we developed the original 2D CAD Design into an integrated 3D BIM model, inclusive of the entire design team information. All main consultants collaborated on inputting information into a federated model, which was used to generate all construction layouts, details and schedules.

BIM helped with visualising the complex construction details and pre-emptively identifying any issues that jeopardised achieving Passivhaus. The BIM model was used to develop a detailed wall make-up, check the insulation for continuity and airtightness as well as to generate accurate data for entry into the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP).

Architype Team

Project Partners

Client Architects
Rick Mather Architects
M&E Engineers
Couch Perry Wilkes
Structural Engineers
Landscape Architects
Ireland Albrecht Landscape Architects
Fire Safety Consultants
BB7 Fire Safety Engineering


  • Civic Trust Awards 2015 Special Award for Sustainability
  • Shortlisted for London Planning Awards ‘Best New Place to Live’ Award 2013/14
Back to top