Blurton, Stoke Extracare · Stoke-on-Trent
Sapphire comprises a number of firms which have experience in providing housing projects countrywide. These are Eric Wright Group, Your Housing Group, Kajima Partnerships Limited and Seddon Construction.
Sapphire has appointed Eric Wright Construction for the design and construction of the Blurton scheme. The area of Blurton is a former village on the southern edge of the potteries conurbation of Stoke with open country to its south, with the Extra Care scheme constructed on the former Brookwood Home and Blurton Farm Depot.
Blurton Extra Care provides 75 apartments comprising 48 two bedroom flats and 27 one bedroom flats. All the flat layouts are designed to Lifetime Home Standards and can be considered to be ‘wheelchair lite’. In doing so, they offer direct access from the main bedroom to the bathroom with the potential for a hoist to be fitted at a later date.
All elements of the building have been designed to accord with the requirements and recommendations of Secured by Design.
The apartments provide recycling facilities in the resident’s kitchen, along with a number of recycling centres incorporated into the design allowing residents or care staff to drop off waste.
In the two bedroom flats, the partition walls around the second bedroom will be constructed with a number of knockout panels to provide future flexibility and enable the resident to tailor this space to their individual needs with no requirement for extensive alteration work.
The entrance reception atrium forms a ‘village street’ with south facing views through to the communal lounge and restaurant area. This high quality, double height space will effectively link all of the principal communal areas within the development and provide a very clear, legible space in which residents and visitors can orientate themselves. As community integration is an essential aspect of any new Extra Care development, a wide range of communal facilities are provided which will enable the residential and wider community within the local neighbourhood to come together.
LABC Building Excellence Awards
Winner – Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development
Finalist – Best High Volume New Housing Development
Finalist – Best Public Service Building
Housing Design Awards 2017
Winner – HAPPI Awards (Housing our Aging Population Positive Ideas)
RIBA West Midlands Award 2018
Winner – RIBA West Midlands Award 2018 – The Sapphire Consortium (Eric Wright Group, Your Housing Group and Kajima Partnerships)
This project was undertaken on a very tight site location surrounded by an existing housing estate and park. We implemented a number of noise and duct reduction solutions to ensure minimum disruption to local residents and planned our material deliveries out of peak hours.
The enabling and foundation works were undertaken during winter with heavy clay ground conditions which was also a challenge.
There were a number of buildings on site which were retained and refurbished and some large trees to be preserved and our site logistics were planned taking these complications into consideration.
A further challenge was the multiple stakeholders involved in the project including the funders, the council and the end users and ensuring everyone’s requirements were met and each party are happy with the completed schemes.
Across the two Extra Care schemes we are pleased to have delivered the following:
- 134 new jobs created. Of which 91 of the people employed resided within 25km of postcode ST1 – these were all of different disciplines
- 7 apprentices have worked on the project
- 47% of people working on the project reside within 25km of postcode ST1
- 63% of materials procured up to end Feb 16 have been from the local area
- 91.5% of waste has been recycled
- Two work placements every month
The sustainability strategy for Blurton addresses key principles for energy, emissions, materials selection, water, pollution, waste, biodiversity, social and community and transport.
The scheme is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating and a reduction of CO₂ emissions by a further 20% beyond Part L 2010 Building Regulation requirements.