Construction works are currently underway at Melfield Gardens in Lewisham, a £12.5m design and build residential scheme for Phoenix Community Housing. The project work will involve the demolition of the existing building, followed by the design and construction of 32 residential units and a community room.
The development will be defined by a West and East Block, comprising 30 x one-bedroom flats and 2 x four-bedroom flats.
The majority of new homes will be allocated to residents aged over 55 years old and will be designed to attract under-occupiers from within the local community, while also generating further chain lettings. The development’s community garden room will serve as a place for residents to meet and socialise.
Aligned with making these new homes attractive to older persons in larger dwellings, Melfield Gardens also has an element of intergenerational housing. A significant focus of intergenerational housing is to find new solutions to the issues of isolation, loneliness and other concerns for an aging population, whilst putting people of other ages and stages of life into the mix.
Melfield Gardens will include accommodation for postgraduate students to obtain the benefits of intergenerational housing through a ‘good neighbour agreement’ between the two residential groups. On the basis of a ‘good neighbour agreement’, each young person is in charge of taking care of a small number of older people in the building, offering a few hours of their time each week to spend with the older residents. The students would be involved on a voluntary basis in cultural and recreational activities which take place in communal spaces. This would help create a supportive, family-like environment and sense of belonging among residents, enabling older residents to maintain their independence and stay in their own homes as they age.
In terms of sustainability, Melfield Gardens has been designed as a Passivhaus development and will be required to achieve Passivhaus Certification. Passivhaus is the world’s leading comfort and energy standard for buildings. It sets a target for the amount of heat and total energy that a building can use and provides a process to ensure that these targets are achieved.
Building orientation, window design, simplicity of thermal envelope, wall construction and simple heating and hot water strategy have all been considered from the outset to ensure that Melfield Gardens will deliver Passivhaus in the hands of Jerram Falkus.
Practical completion of Melfield Gardens is expected to be achieved by June 2024.
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