A housing association and its partners have celebrated the ‘topping out’ of what is claimed to be the most sustainable new social housing ever built in Lewisham.
Phoenix Community Housing (PCH) marked the occasion at Melfield Gardens this month, and hosted a site tour for guests including the deputy mayor of Lewisham (acting as mayor), and cabinet member for housing development and planning, councillor Brenda Dacres.
The intergenerational housing scheme, designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects, will provide 30 homes for people aged over 55. The idea behind the scheme is to offer an “attractive opportunity” for residents to downsize, and free up their old homes for people on the borough’s housing waiting list.
The scheme also includes two four-bedroom flats for students. Working in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London, Phoenix will offer students lower cost accommodation in return for the students’ volunteering time to support their older neighbours.
Denise Fowler, the community gateway housing asociation’s chief executive, said: “There is a huge demand for high quality affordable housing in Lewisham, so it was fantastic to visit this award-winning development. This is the first Passivhaus development of social housing in Lewisham and energy bills for the new tenants will be a fraction of those most people have to pay. I am proud that we are still able to deliver new homes of this quality.”
Melfield Gardens won the GLA award for the best sustainable development at the 2021 Housing Design Awards. The new homes are designed to meet ‘Passivhaus’ standard – an energy efficiency design standard that aims to address issues including fuel poverty and climate change.
Passivhaus homes have high levels of insulation, meaning residents will notice benefits such as lower energy bills and comfortable living environments all year round. The new homes at Melfield Gardens are due to be completed in Autumn 2024 and form part of Phoenix’s development plans to build at least 200 new homes by 2028.
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