New build


Reading Borough Council

This project forms part of Reading Borough Council’s significant £80m investment in over 300 new affordable homes by 2025 aiming to reduce the waiting list and provide accommodation for key workers and growing families.

We were appointed as a main contractor to work for the Council to construct eight new build dwellings i.e., six 2-bedroom and two 3-bedroom family homes including associated external works, making the best use of small lots over five different sites, as follows:

  • Camelford Close (single plot, detached)
  • Circuit Lane (single plot, detached)
  • Foxhays Road (three plots, bungalow and two semi-detached
  • Ian Mikardo Way (single plot, detached)
  • Wentworth Avenue (two plots, semi-detached)

The full scope of works comprised construction of houses with design and installation of mechanical and electrical services, roof trusses, piling, block and beam floors, TGI joists and fire strategies. Within our scope were also site roads, footpaths, fencing, screen walling, parking areas, landscaping, drainage and service connections.


All sites had associated issues, mostly they were small and access was challenging with very little space for us to establish their office and welfare facilities. We had to undertake our works with minimum, disruption to adjacent neighbours / properties. Close collaboration was required on all logistical matters in undertaking the works (i.e. delivery of materials / accessing the site; each site had different access arrangements and we liaised with adjoining occupants and owners to minimise disruption and inconvenience.


Within the project there were significant hazards of falls from height and to the public as there were areas where the works had public right of way within the project demise. We ensured compliance with all relevant legislation, approved codes of practice and best practice. Careful consideration to the phasing / sequencing of the works needed to be given, as there were various constraints including the requirements for access and egress to the site and the proximity of the works to the public. The Construction Phase Plan was developed by us in consultation with the Principal Designer and details of the welfare arrangements were provided to the Client and Principal Designer for review and approval before the commencement of works.


There were several contractor design portions for various elements of the work, and we demonstrated compliance with Reading Borough Council’s Planning Policy Requirement CS1, ensuring that development can achieve an energy efficiency standard of Carbon Neutral over Building Regulations requirements Part L 2013 Edition with 2016 Amendments (Target Emission Rate Baseline). We were expected to provide SAP and other documentary evidence to show the achievement of 35% CO2 improvement over Building Regulations for all sites, which was the requirement within the Mechanical and Electrical Contractor’s Design Portions.


The following low or zero carbon energy sources are installed, which release very little or no CO2 and may help to reduce energy bills as well as cutting carbon emissions:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Solar water heating

As part of the thermal performance improvement, insulation was included in the construction detailing. Electric car charging points were also provided. These measures resulted in properties’ EPC ratings to be A and B.


As a result of our adopted methodology, the scheme we delivered fully meets the Council’s requirements:

  • Low maintenance costs, through standardisation of parts across the property portfolio and through durable components
  • Repairs can be fixed quickly, with existing van stock without having to order bespoke parts
  • Good design, detailing and consistency of materials to reduce the risk of latent defects, or high maintenance costs
  • Buildings are structurally durable
  • Low running costs for tenants
  • Best use of all resources (especially land).