Crawford Road Housing

One Housing Group

Project Description

The redevelopment of a brownfield site to create 23 units of affordable housing on a busy urban site in Camberwell. This Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 development is a mixture of flats and maisonettes, with 16 shared ownership properties, and 7 affordable rented. The scheme has sedum roofs, private front and back gardens, and generous balcony space.

Start / Nov. ‘08
On Site / Jul. ‘10
Completion / Dec. ‘11
Gross Internal Floor Area
1,550 sqm (excludes core and communal areas)
Construction Type
Total / £3,000,000


Our main aims for the scheme were to provide high quality affordable housing in an area with a high demand for new housing; to help repair the streetscape providing secure and clearly defined spaces where residents and passers by would feel safe; to create a visually pleasing development that enhances its setting; and to create a robust, sustainable building, which is of a simple passive design, and maximises natural light, orientation and improved building fabric.

Design Process

The site, at a busy intersection in Camberwell, had been derelict for many years, and Architype’s design overcame a range of challenges including the change of use of the site, proximity to a Conservation Area, restricted access, Tree Preservation Orders, and potential issues with daylight. Party walls were used to maximise site capacity at 686 habitable rooms per hectare. Architype’s site analysis identified a neglected alcove of pavement just outside the site area, which attracted rubbish and prevented alignment with adjacent buildings. Architype helped negotiate the transfer of 55m2 of this land, free of charge, from the council to our client.


The result: a high quality, site specific, sustainable residential scheme, which enhances the security of the street and repairs a broken corner of the urban fabric – previously a disused and vandalised day care centre. The form has been developed around an important tree at the corner of the site, and the scale aligns with buildings adjacent on Coldharbour Lane. The scheme has multiple entrances at street level, which promote activity and security. To help reinforce the line of the street, local planning officers suggested that the site boundary could be extended onto the wide pavement of Coldharbour Lane, thus allowing the continuation of the building line which exists to the north of the site.

A stepped form was introduced to re-orientate the balconies facing onto Coldharbour Lane and to add visual variety, emphasising the corner position of the site. The use of vertical rhythms in the building form and fenestration relates to the traditional vertical rhythm of the local Georgian streetscape.

An external facing material of brick is used for both its robust hardwearing characteristics, and its aesthetic relationship with the streetscape and wider London context. The building has been designed to reduce energy consumption through its orientation. All units have dual aspect and receive excellent natural light, thereby reducing electricity use.

Designed to meet:

  • 721 Housing Quality Indicators (HQIs)
  • Design and Quality Standards
  • Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3
  • Secured by Design: Principles
  • Secured by Design: New Homes
  • Lifetime Homes
  • The Southwark Plan
  • The London Plan
  • Wheelchair Housing Design Guide
  • Wheelchair Homes Design Guide
  • NHBC Standards 2008

The scheme has been designed to meet the requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document M and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The main entrance to the development is on Coldharbour Lane where a secure access gate allows entry to the communal amenity space at the front of the development. A path leads from the entrance through the amenity space past the cycle/refuse store to the central stair core. A passenger lift is provided in the stair core to wheelchair and general access to upper floors. The central core is acoustically isolated from the structure to prevent sound transfer and general disturbance.

The entrances to the ground floor units are provided directly at street level and include small front gardens, well lit porches, secure external bin stores and doorbells.

Cycle Storage

A safe, secure, easily accessible enclosed shelter is provided for cycle storage at the entrance to the communal space and includes 26 spaces.


The scheme has been designed to be primarily car free with only accessible parking space provided for wheelchair accessible housing.


Sustainability Strategy

The scheme has been designed with sustainability as an essential element. It contains many features that significantly benefit the occupants, neighbours and the wider environment.

The development is designed to meet Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which sets a minimum standard for environmental impact.

The main features of the development are:


The building is orientated on the site to maximise passive solar gain. This along with the dual aspect layout of all units also ensures good natural daylighting for all habitable rooms.


The development is designed as a highly insulated, heavy weight, durable building with good air tightness values.

Domestic Waste

Recycling storage is provided internally in flats and externally in a covered space. Collection has been co-ordinated with Southwark’s Recycling Collection Scheme.


The specification only includes materials and products that minimise negative impact on the environment; that are robust, require low maintenance, have low embodied energy and are long life.

Fixtures and Fittings

All fixtures and fittings specified are energy conserving, for example low energy light fittings and energy efficient white goods. Drying spaces are provided within flats, for clothes, to reduce the requirement for tumble dryers. External light fittings are low energy and operate on light sensors.

Health and Well Being

All kitchens, living/dining rooms and bedrooms receive direct daylight and a good flow of natural ventilation. There is excellent sound insulation that is achieved through solid masonry construction and careful detailing.

Water Conservation

Water saving sanitaryware has been installed in all units, and rainwater butts in the gardens collect the roof run-off. A SUDS system minimises the impact of the waste water system.

Architype Team

Project Partners

Main Contractor
Bugler Construction
Quantity Surveyor
BPP Construction Consultants
Structural Engineer
Ellis and Moore Consulting Engineers
Services Engineer
Norman Bromley Partnership
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