Right on point - a new response to rental demand
Award winning development for the private rented sector sets the benchmark for future schemes in partnership with public landowners.
Highpoint Project summary
Newington Butts Developments Ltd
Peabody Trust and Realstar
- Start date
- January 2015
- Completion date
- December 2017
With demand for rental properties in London increasing, this development, which forms part of a regeneration project in south east London, has offered opportunities to the housing market that could set the scene for future city living.
Working with the Greater London Authority (GLA) as the development manager, and design and build contractor, we created the largest private rented sector development on government land. Our aim was to produce a mix of affordable housing and long-term private rental accommodation.
Investment was the key to the success of the project. After it had been stalled for a few years, we reignited the development and got it back on track by investing our own equity. We then worked with the Peabody Trust, a major housing association, to secure a deal for affordable rented and shared ownership properties.
A partnership with Realstar, a real-estate investment and management company, completed an early landmark deal for the development, setting a precedent for international long-term investment into the UK’s housing market.
Rental contracts with Realstar, as opposed to individual investors, have offered residents long-term stability and professional support.
Points of note
ComplexitiesTo secure the right partner, we had to manage complex lease structures and other deal constraints, such as the finite completion date set by the GLA.
We also had to contend with the issue that the original design for the tower was flawed. This meant we had to revise the planning permission to increase the height of the tower and redesign it so that the building services aspects could function fully to current regulations. The redesign brought the added advantage of better floor to ceiling heights that had originally been designed too low. During this time, we worked closely with the Peabody Trust to ensure that the designs stayed true to the original intent of shared ownership and the social for rent product, contained under the planning and Section 106 agreement.
Saving time and moneyTo prefabricate the narrow core, the team helped develop a jumpform ‘factory’ that would support greater stability, finish and accuracy compared to a slipform core. It took just three weeks to assemble, bringing immediate speed and quality of production to the project. Floor slabs were poured simultaneously with core walls, and formwork, rebar and concrete operations were isolated. Using hydraulics to raise itself to each floor in just 90mins, the factory enabled the team to achieve a rate of one jump every six days.
CommitmentThroughout the deal, we remained committed to delivering a fully PRS-led scheme for the GLA, despite press speculation that the flats would be sold on the open market. Although this would undoubtedly have been the easy option, we stayed true to our pledge to the GLA to find a way to secure a quality rental product in the market and make it a first for the GLA, as well as the most high profile project of its type in the UK.
Reducing riskSuspending a 55.6 tonne steel ‘crown’ 153m above street level was a balancing act with extreme risks.
To de-risk the work, the team mocked up the 46th and 47th floors off-site to make mistakes and find solutions on the ground before the steelwork was erected. This hugely successful exercise highlighted a number of issues that would have impacted the programme by three weeks.
“Mace is committed to helping shape sustainable cities through smarter infrastructure and better buildings. This fantastic development has helped deliver the Mayor’s vision for future living in London, a completely new type of rental offer in the London market, and we are proud to have played our part.”