Greendykes Phase G




ARCHITECTURE: Affordable Housing


Anderson Bell Christie


21st Century Homes / City of Edinburgh Council


We were appointed by 21st Century Homes to deliver a phase of 75 new homes for social and mid-market rent in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh. Each property was to accord with HfVN standards and to achieve Silver Standard as stipulated in SBSA.

Our response was to create a Lifetime Neighbourhood, appropriate for all generations and accessibilities. As well as delivering the brief above, we suggested a number of enhancements to exceed the expectations of the client:

  • Adding social spaces such as a community room and growing space in the courtyard of the development.
  • A communal heating system for the energy strategy which exceeds Silver Standard and responds to the Council’s sustainability aspirations for the city.
  • An enhancement of natural lighting requirements of Silver Standard, with mental well-being and dementia friendly housing in mind.
  • Two test flats are being monitored over 2 years, in partnership with MEARU, to determine if an innovative passive ventilation system can improve indoor air quality.

We worked collaboratively with planning to achieve a high-quality proposal. We determined with them a simple, rational design with a restrained palette that would be an exemplar design for the area and for the council.

Street-facing elevations are clad in a high-spec brick (Crest Titan Multi and Eton Smooth). A black brick detail at corner blocks respond to a neighbouring phase of the masterplan. The storey heights are sensitive in massing both to existing phases and phases to come. Generously proportioned alu-clad windows ensure daylighting requirements of Silver Standard are exceeded. The top floors of all properties benefit from an enhanced floor to ceiling height, achieved through a bespoke timber kit solution giving 3-metre-tall living spaces.

The site sits next to a new play park, providing excellent outdoor space for the family homes we placed adjacent so they could overlook for the safety of their children. The street design allows people to get safely to the play park, via a traffic calmed single lane road with limited parking.

We took cognisance of City of Edinburgh Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan and the new key principles found in the Housing to 2040 document. Through a future-proofed energy strategy, the District Heating System can be used to integrate neighbouring developments into the system’s infrastructure. Looking to create Healthy Homes, it is hoped our innovative passive-ventilation system could lead to a new standard in providing better air quality in homes; helping to create  healthy environments.