Fabric first

So, we’re building more social housing, homes below market rent for low-paid families, creating affordable home ownership for those who can buy, and at secure market rent for those who can’t. There must also be full market rent and homes sold to help pay for more construction.

Setting our own standards
Everything Homes for Lambeth builds for the Estate Regeneration programme must meet 10 Lambeth Housing Design Principles. These principles are supported by detailed design standards (we have spent a year consulting on these) – and many of our standards are higher than those in the building regulations for new homes in the UK. A technical brief (supporting the design standards) defines the construction details, so quality is assured.

Fabric first
Lambeth’s Housing Design principles reflect a "fabric-first" approach to energy efficiency - the building is designed to do the work of keeping heat inside – with insulation, draught exclusion, and south-facing windows to harvest the sun's energy so that the building requires very little energy for heating or cooling.

Fabric First in action: Akerman Road
Akerman Road (the first directly-developed council housing scheme for Lambeth in 10 years) shows the fabric first design principles in action. Nine new homes have been created to complete a Victorian terrace with a refurbishment of the blue plaque listed former homeless hostel - once the home of music hall comedy legend Dan Leno.

Three four-bedroom houses have been newly built and certified to the Passivhaus standard – a rigorous voluntary standard for energy efficiency meaning these homes will have very low heating costs and, over time, a minimal carbon footprint. There are only about 150 certified Passivhaus developments so far in the UK – but the principle works for an Antarctic research station.

The new homes (which are let at council rents) meet the standard of our Design Principles by fitting into their environment. With the new entrances and triple glazed windows integrated into the 19th Century terrace and the brick and render finish, you can walk past without realising that the buildings are full of innovation. But for residents moving in it’s a very different story, with the promise of low energy bills and a warm and healthy home.

For more information, you can download a booklet with full details of the 10 design principles here.