Whatman House

Client Swan Housing Association
Location Faversham, Kent
Size 0.28ha
Value £1.65m
Status Complete

Whatman House

Whatman House was a home for the frail and elderly with a mix of 23 one-bed flats and bedsits.  Due to the lack of demand for bedsits, the home was demolished and has been redeveloped into 5 houses and 8 flats, two of which are for people with disabilities.

Surrounded by 2-storey residential properties, the layout of the new scheme was dictated by the shape of the site, the contours and the existing access which was to be retained.

The flats and amenity spaces are located on the south-west corner and follow the natural slope of the site with the two disabled flats on the ground floor. The houses are on the north-east corner with front and rear gardens and parking bays in the front gardens.  The design is high quality and modern and respects the local vernacular.

We have maintained and enhanced the ecological value of the site with the retention of the mature trees and additional planting together with the reprovision of bat roosting spaces.

There is adequate cycle and vehicular parking and the solar thermal hot water heating in each flat contributed towards the development achieving Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

 Please click here to download Whatman House project page

New Cranes Court (Code Level 6)

Client Swan Housing Association
Location Basildon
Size 16 houses and 12 flats
Value £3.7m
Status Complete

New Cranes Court 01

Walking up Cranes Lane in Basildon away from the tractor factory, you enter an elliptical courtyard, sunlight playing on warm coloured brickwork, cream render and natural timber boarding. As the ground rises, the curved terraces close the space, and you then pass through a small gap into a country lane with views of the historic Holy Cross Church. This is New Cranes Court a very low carbon development of 16 houses and 12 flats that replaces 1970’s hostel accommodation, the design of which attracted anti-social behaviour due to poorly-defined public and private spaces. All the new family houses and ground floor flats now provide a safe environment with secure private gardens.

As an exemplar of eco-friendly place making, the development was certified to Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, with expected typical running costs for a 4 bedroom house of £6 per week for heating, lighting and hot water.

Swan were keen that Code Level 6 was achieved, but the planners refused solar panels due to the proximity to the Listed church. High energy efficiency was achieved with triple glazing, highly insulated factory-made timber frame panels, with larger windows facing south and efficient ventilation systems with energy recovery. To provide carbon neutral electricity and hot water to all homes a glycerol bio-fuelled combined heat and power plant was installed. Any surplus electricity can be returned to the grid. Low water use WCs and bathroom fittings reduce water demand, and flood reducing SUDS drainage is included. Sustainable materials were used throughout.

Sustain’ Awards Judges’ citation of New Cranes Court, winner of the Development Award 2013.
“A very strong scheme. Taking it at face value, the average person wouldn’t think it was Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 - which is exactly the point. Architecture with a sense of place - and sustainability - deeply embedded.”

  • Winner, Sustain’ Awards 2013, ‘Development’
  • Winner, Sustainable Housing Awards 2012, ‘Sustainable Larger Housing Project of the Year’
  • International Green Apple Award for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage 2012

Please click here to download New Cranes Court project page


Cranes Court 1Cranes Court 2Cranes Court 3New Cranes Court 4