2010 Standard achievers announced

10 September 2010

A record 55 new housing schemes have achieved a Building for Life standard this year, 50 per cent more than last year. This is the largest number in the eight years of the initiative.

The schemes have scored more than 14 out or 20 against the Building for Life criteria, the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods. It is the first time more than half of all entries (92) achieved a standard, suggesting an overall rise in housing quality.

A total of 20 schemes have achieved a gold standard, compared to 12 last year; and 35 a silver standard, compared to 24.

The schemes suggest that housebuilders are now seizing the opportunity to play a leading role in creating successful places, not just building individual homes. This can be seen across all 55 schemes, regardless of their size or location.

You can see pictures of these housing developments, with team credits, below. For quick reference, the list of schemes without pictures or credits is given here.

Gold standards include Burnhill Green in Staffordshire, just ten homes but still sets a benchmark for energy efficient rural development.

A record has been made with Fairfield Park in Bedfordshire - at 1,200 homes it is the largest multi-developer scheme ever to qualify, and achieved Gold.

Ashley Vale in Bristol is the first self build development to achieve a Building for Life standard. The lively mix of 37 homes provides a delightful sense of place.  Another Bristol scheme, the Robinson Building, has given a landmark industrial building a new lease of life. The Victorian factory which pioneered branded packaging now provides 100 homes.

Plymouth scored particularly well this year. Five schemes achieved Gold, including Cargo Millbay which mixes business space and homes to make life better in a challenging locality; and Mills Bakery, a sensitive conversion of a waterfront Grade I listed building.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub in Harlesden is an exceptional scheme in north west London for a site that certainly needs one. It is lifting the area and setting the bar for subsequent regeneration.

Schemes which qualified for Silver include Cometa In High Wycombe – a scheme of 12 homes which punches above its weight in the contribution it makes to local character and street scene.

A development for older people, Northampton Place in Slough, provides retail and leisure facilities for residents and an enclosed inner courtyard designed to encourage them to socialise.

Wayne Hemingway, chair of Building for Life, says: ‘Building for Life has helped developers and planners talk the same language and by working together they’re creating far better places to live.’

Gold standards

Astor Court, Plymouth
Cedar Homes Limited; Architects Design Group

This scheme gives new life to an attractive historic building, providing 24 homes and making a valuable contribution to the revival of the Plymouth Barbican area.

Astor Court, Plymouth Photo by CABE/Dominic Church

Avante, Coxheath
Crest Nicholson; Sheppard Robson

A distinctive scheme for 150 homes which makes good use of the £60,000 house and benefits from a well-considered masterplan.

Avante, Maidstone Photo by Crest Nicholson

be: Newhall, Essex
Linden Homes Eastern Ltd; Alison Brooks Architects; Galliford Try Partnership

A design which develops the terraced house typology in an interesting way, providing a welcome addition to the Newhall development.

be: Newhall, EssexPhoto by CABE

Bolanachi Building, Bermondsey Spa, London
The Hyde Group; Levitt Bernstein; Rooff Ltd

A very well considered response to the site, with lovely communal areas. The scheme offers interesting variety across its 138 homes, with careful detailing and a high quality finish.

Bolonachi Building, SouthwarkPhoto by Levitt Bernstein

Burnhill Green, South Staffordshire
The Crown Estate; Watson, Bertram & Fell; J S Seddon Ltd

Burnhill Green is a benchmark for small scale rural development. Its traditional appearance gives few clues to its advanced construction techniques, or the features which give enhanced environmental performance.

Burnhill Green, South StaffordshirePhoto by CABE

Cargo Millbay, Plymouth
English Cities Fund; Ferguson Mann; Ardmore Construction Ltd

An imaginative scheme which works cleverly with its surroundings in a challenging locality. The mix of business space with residential use will support the regeneration of the area.

Cargo Millbay, PlymouthPhoto by CABE

Claredale Street, Bethnal Green
Tower Hamlets Community Housing; Karakusevic Carson Architects; Hill Partnership

A modern scheme that integrates well with the surrounding area and creates a public space which though small significantly improves connections to the surrounding streets.

Claredale Street, Bethnal GreenPhoto by CABE/Dominic Church

Crown Street Mews, St Ives, Cambridgeshire
Campbell Buchanan

A fine mews infill project, choosing to use durable materials which will age gracefully

Crown Mews, St IvesPhoto by Campbell Buchanan

Fairfield Park, Stotfold, Bedfordshire
Mid Beds District Council; Tetlow King Ltd; PJ Livesey (Listed Building, associated communal areas); Fairfield Redevelopments Ltd (enabling development); Stamford Homes; Persimmon Homes; Bovis; Twigden Homes; Taylor Wimpey; David Wilson Homes; Miller Homes; P.J. Livesey

Transformation of a former hospital site to create 1,200 homes. A high-quality development which benefits from a coherent masterplan.

Fairfield Park, Stotfold, BedfordshirePhoto by Central Bedfordshire Council

Falcon Works, Southwark
Hexagon Housing Association; Alan Camp Architects LLP; Osborne

Falcon Works makes clever use of its long shallow site, with staggered blocks allowing for variety in public space.

Falcon Works, Southwark Photo by Alan Camp Architects LLP

Friars Lane, Plymouth
Pemberley Developments; Rogers & Haynes Architects

An impressive response to the context of the Barbican Conservation Area, using a palette of good quality, locally distinctive materials. The scheme also improves diversity of tenure in the area.

Friars Lane, PlymouthPhoto by Plymouth City Council

Grainey's Joinery, Plymouth
McAleer & Rushe Ltd; Lacey Hickie Caley Ltd

This is a well-designed scheme, rising to the challenge of relating to both of the very different types of building adjacent to it.

Grainey's Joinery, PlymouthPhoto by Lacey Hickie Caley Ltd

Mills Bakery, Royal William Yard, Plymouth
Urban Splash Build; Gillespie Yunnie

Seventy eight homes provided through a sensitive conversion of a Grade I listed building with adjacent waterfront, completed to a very high standard.

Mills Bakery, Royal William Yard, Plymouth Photo by Gillespie Yunnie Architects

OneBrighton, Brighton
Crest Nicholson, BioRegional Quintain; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Denne Construction

A lively, well-designed car-free development. It maximises plot ratio and neatly utilises a steep site for 172 homes, and embraces zero carbon living.

OneBrighton, BrightonPhoto by CABE

Printworks, Elephant & Castle
First Base; Glenn Howells Architects; Laing O'Rourke

Printworks makes good use of a challenging inner-city infill site, with high-quality finishes.

Printworks, Elephant & CastlePhoto by Jake Morley

Rochester Row, City of Westminster
Barratt West London; Assael Architecture Ltd

A sleek nine-storey residential block – an ingenious urban fix and an impressive work of architecture.

Rochester Row, City of WestminsterPhoto by Assael Architecture Ltd

Stanmore Place, Harrow
St Edward Homes Ltd; Grid Architects Ltd; Berkeley Homes (Urban Renaissance) Ltd

The strong vision behind this development is shining through these first two phases, which provide 194 homes.

Stanmore Place, Harrow Photo by CABE

Stonebridge Hillside Hub, Harlesden
The Hyde Group with Rydon Construction; Edward Cullinan Architects; Rydon Construction; REAL; Inplace

An exceptional scheme for a site that desperately needs one. As the final stage of a 14-year regeneration plan, it lifts the whole area.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub, HarlesdenPhoto by Simon Feneley

Thornberry House, Ealing
Catalyst Housing Group; PCKO Architects; Willmott Dixon

A good urban infill scheme, using robust materials and detailing. Most of the 29 homes are double or even triple aspect.

Thornberry House, EalingPhoto by CABE

Waverley Gardens, Bristol
Brunelcare; NOMA Architects; Leadbitter

This scheme provides very sheltered housing with a strong focus on communal facilities, making impressive use of a difficult site.

Waverley Gardens, BristolPhoto by NOMA Architects

Silver standards

Ashley Vale Self Build Development, Bristol
Ashley Vale Action Group

A very interesting community-led development of 37 homes, creating a new neighbourhood with a distinct character and identity.

Ashley Vale Self Build Development, BristolPhoto by Ecomotive.org

Baden Powell Close, Dagenham
Southern Housing Group; Peter Barber Architects Ltd; Kier Partnership Homes Ltd

An unconventional but nevertheless successful approach to solving the challenges of a small site.

Baden Powell Close, DagenhamPhoto by CABE/Dominic Church

Barking Central, London
Redrow Regeneration (Barking) Ltd; London Borough of Barking & Dagenham; Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; Ardmore Group

This vibrant Lemonade Building is the final phase of a high profile five block development that signalled the regeneration of Barking had begun. Barking Central sits in great public space, and the housing has paid for a new library and learning centre.

Barking Central, LondonPhoto by CABE/Dominic Church

Barton Hill, Bristol
Sovereign South and West; Kendall Kingscott Ltd; Leadbitter Construction

This small mixed-use development manages to provide a new focus for the neighbourhood.

H4 Barton Hill, BristolPhoto by Kendall Kingscott Ltd

Beaufort Park, Barnet, London
St George Central London; Broadway Malyan; Ardmore

The scheme of 676 homes is impressive in the way it delivers a vision for new urban quality for Barnet, with very good public realm.

Beaufort Park, Barnet, LondonPhoto by CABE/Dominic Church

Bow Cross, Tower Hamlets, London
Swan Housing Association; PRP Architects; Countryside Properties PLC (in partnership)

Bow Cross successfully stitches a difficult site back into the neighbourhood and contributes positively to a neglected area.

Bow Cross, Tower Hamlets, LondonPhoto by Swan Housing Group

Brandwood End, Kings Heath
Waterloo Housing Association; Birmingham City Council; Axis Design Architects; Frank Haslam Milan and Co Ltd; Thomas Value Construction; Marbury Hills

An attractive and well-conceived scheme providing 304 homes, with a traditional design approach.

Brandwood End, Kings HeathPhoto by Axis Design Architects

Burtons Farm Park, North Solihull
West Mercia Homes Ltd; RPS Planning and Development Ltd; Bellway Homes (West Midlands Division) Ltd

A thoughtful scheme which delivers real improvements to the neighbourhood.

Burtons Farm Park, North SolihullPhoto by Tony Charnock Photography

River Street, Cabot Circus, Bristol
Bristol Alliance; Chapman Taylor LLP; Wilkinson Eyre Architects; Sir Robert McAlpine

The curved terrace of these three-storey town houses integrates well with the surrounding area and frames newly created public space – as well as cleverly screening a multi-storey car park.

Cabot Circus, BristolPhoto by Nathaniel Roberton

Chatham Place, Reading
Muse Developments; Cartwright Pickard Architects Ltd; Ardmore Construction Ltd; Leadbitter Group

The first stage of an ambitious project to regenerate and reconnect a run-down part of the city back to the centre, reducing the impact of Reading’s inner ring road.

Chatham Place, ReadingPhoto by CABE

Christopher Thomas Court, Bristol
Jephson Housing Association; AWW; E G Carter

An interesting project aiming to balance new and old. It creates a public link which improves the permeability of this quarter of the city.

Christopher Thomas Court, BristolPhoto by AWW

Cometa, High Wycombe
Aston Homes Ltd; Richard Clark Chartered Architects; West Rose Construction Ltd

This small scheme goes beyond providing 12 good quality homes – it makes a really positive contribution to local character and street scene.

Cometa, High WycombePhoto by GMH Marketing

Ducrow Court, Bristol
Knightstone Housing Association; gcp Chartered Architects; Leadbetter Construction

A development of 69 homes to a design which benefits from a robust choice of materials and good detailing.

Backfields, BristolPhoto by gcp Chartered Architects

Dunchurch Road, Rugby
Benfield Homes Ltd; HB Architects Ltd

An attractive, well-considered scheme which has taken a traditional design approach

Dunchurch Road, RugbyPhoto by Benfield Homes

Evolution Cove, Plymouth
Standerton House; The Architects Design Group

A distinctive building in a prominent location. The 59 home scheme responds well to the existing townscape and street pattern, although less successfully in terms of scale to the adjacent listed Stonehouse Barracks building.

Evolution Cove, PlymouthPhoto by Peter Curno/The Architects Design Group

Fitzwarren Street, Salford
Great Places Housing Group Ltd; Loop Architecture; Wates Living Space

A scheme which works well in terms of the quality of the architecture and its use of the terraced house typology.

Fitzwarren Street, SalfordPhoto by CABE

288 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol
Simon Crocker, Simon James New Homes Ltd; Focus on Design

Ten homes in a carefully designed and appropriate response to a busy street setting.

288 Gloucester Road, Horfield, BristolPhoto by Focus on Design

Goodwill Drive, Rayners Lane, Harrow
Home Group ; MEPK Architects; Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd

One phase of a bigger masterplan. Most of the 159 flats and houses are double aspect or even a welcome triple aspect.

Goodwill Drive, Rayners Lane, HarrowPhoto by MEPK Architects

Grosvenor Waterside, City of Westminster
Make; Broadway Malyan; Sheppard Robson; Twigg Brown Architects; Harper_Downie; Allies and Morrison Architects; Reid Architects; EPR Architects; St James Urban Living

An ambitious scheme in the high-value location of Chelsea, providing 856 homes in buildings and landscaping with a very high quality of detailing.

Grosvenor Waterside, City of WestminsterPhoto by St James Urban Living

Grove House, Bristol
The Clifton Village Development Partnership; noma architects; Chamberlain Building Contractors; Urban Creation Limited

Sensitive treatment of a historic building which reinforces the character of the Clifton Conservation Area.

Grove House, BristolPhoto by Urban Creation Limited

Harris Drive, Rugby
David Wilson Homes East Midlands

This scheme for 55 homes cleverly integrates existing trees and open space.

Harris Drive, RugbyPhoto by Ricky Smith/David Wilson Homes East Midlands

Hulton Square, Ordsall, Salford
LPC Living; Falconer Chester Hall; Dreamspace Construction

Well-structured terraces in a scheme which creates a good relationship with the park and the wider Ordsall area.

Hulton Square, Ordsall, SalfordPhoto by McCoy Wynne

James Place, Plymouth
University of Plymouth; Willmore Iles Architects Ltd

A distinctive scheme providing high-quality student accommodation and attractive public space within Plymouth university campus.

James Place, PlymouthPhoto by fotohaus ltd/Willmore Iles Architects Ltd

Jarvie Close, Sedgeford
Hastoe Housing Association; Parsons & Whittley; E N Suiter & Sons Ltd

This small affordable scheme makes the traditional local style feel contemporary. It takes sustainability seriously, in both construction method and materials and in energy and lifestyle management.

Jarvie Close, SedgfordPhoto by Parsons & Whittley

Middleton, Wyndham Square, Plymouth
Stevenson Homes Ltd; Rogers & Haynes Architects

Successful re-use for an existing historic building within a Conservation Area.

Middleton, Wyndham Square, PlymouthPhoto by Plymouth City Council

Northampton Place, Slough
Hanover Housing Association; Archadia Chartered Architects; Feltham Construction Ltd

This is a good example of providing attractive accommodation for older residents within a suburban neighbourhood.

Northampton Place, SloughPhoto by Hanover Housing Association

Orient House, Kettering
East Midlands Housing Association; Gordon White & Hood Ltd; Mansell Construction Services Ltd

Impressive re-use of an important historic building in Kettering, providing 46 affordable homes.

Orient House, KetteringPhoto by Gordon White & Hood Ltd

Parkwest, West Drayton
St George West London Ltd; PRC Architect and Planning Ltd

This development of 574 homes has achieved higher density and improved local public realm within a suburban context of indifferent quality.

Parkwest, West DraytonPhoto by CABE

Plymstock Library, Plymouth
Signpost Housing Association; Rogers & Haynes Architects

The scheme successfully reinforces the street scene and delivers a housing mix that responds to local needs. Good access to local facilities and public transport.

Plymstock Library, PlymouthPhoto by Plymouth City Council

Queen Mary's Place, Wandsworth
St James Developments; Omega Partnership

Positive attributes here include good landscaping and generally high quality of materials and consistent detailing across a development for 359 homes.

Queen Mary's Place, WandsworthPhoto by St James Developments

Robinson Building, Bristol
Urbis Developments T/A Voramex Ltd; O'LearyGoss Architects; Urbis Build

A new lease of life for a south Bristol landmark: Robinsons were international pioneers of branded packaging. The building’s conversion into 100 homes respects the 1846 fabric while introducing an impressive atrium space.

Robinson Building, BristolPhoto by O'LearyGoss Architects 2007-2010

Spencer Place, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke
LPC Living; Falconer Chester Hall; Dreamspace Construction

A good variety of housing types and tenures – and for this location, an impressive number with gardens. All alongside generous green communal space.

Spencer Place, Churchill Way West, Basingstoke Photo by David Wilson Homes

St Andrew's, Bromley-by-Bow
Barratt Homes London; Allies and Morrison; Barratt Homes London

A large east London housing scheme which feels it would be a good place to live, with a strong sense of place.

St Andrew's, Bromley-by-BowPhoto by CABE

The Ledge, Fishersgate, West Sussex
HydeMartlet; RH Partnership Architects; Denne Construction

Carefully designed buildings providing well-constructed and well-finished new homes.

The Ledge, Fishersgate, West SussexPhoto by Steve Hawkins

Water Colour, Redhill
Linden Homes (SE) Ltd; John Thompson & Partners

Exceptionally strong landscaping sets this scheme apart. It creates a series of pleasant public spaces and gives the entire development of 523 homes a distinctive character.

Watercolour, RedhillPhoto by CABE