Kawneer systems supply a quintet of criteria at Greenwich
August 2021

Windows and doors by Kawneer feature on apartments at Greenwich Square.

Architectural glazing systems by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer were specified for a primarily residential building at the heart of the redevelopment of London’s Greenwich Square for their aesthetic, acoustic, thermal, fire-resistant and sustainability credentials.

Kawneer’s AA®543 open-in windows and AA®540 fixed lights feature in the stairwells of Block 3 – a seven-storey, garden-courtyard block of 325 apartments for Mace Developments that was masterplanned by Make Architects and delivered by KDS Associates.

In addition, Kawneer’s AA®543 windows, AA®540 series of fixed lights and AA®545 doors are coupled together on all elevations and complemented by the thermally superior AA®720 doors and fixed lights on the ground floor entrances.

Work on the £80 million building by main contractor Mace took almost three years and delivers a 6,895m2 mix of studio and one- to three-bedroomed units, 292m2 of commercial space, and basement parking for 195 cars and 600 bicycles.

Part of Phase 3 of the £250 million regeneration of a three-hectare brownfield site, Block 3’s build of concrete frame also utilised off-site methods, with prefabricated bathroom and utility pods.

Nikhil Raj, Associate Director with KDS Associates, explained that Make Architects had been responsible for the whole masterplan of the site which included Block 3 that was developed to Stage 3 level.

He said: “The original scheme was not commercially viable, therefore Mace development appointed KDS to rationalise and optimise the Make Architects’ original scheme. KDS assisted Make Architects in submitting an NMA by adding another storey and an additional 42 units to the existing scheme. Upon receiving a successful approval on NMA, KDS were appointed by Mace Developments to deliver Block 3.

“We needed a slimline and robust look, along with the benefit of better acoustic and thermal performance. Aluminium also played an important part as we wanted to earn some additional BREEAM points.”

He added: “I have worked with Kawneer products before, so it was no surprise that they delivered on their promise again.”

Greenwich Square was a stalled development on Government brownfield land for more than 10 years before Mace, as principal equity investor, worked through the complex issues with a special purpose joint venture company, to finally unlock the site.

The team brought together the numerous stakeholders involved to channel energy around a common purpose – to create a new community for east Greenwich that delivered 50% high-quality affordable housing as a key focus.

The vibrant new destination comprises 686 new mixed-tenure homes and a community hub with facilities including a leisure centre, library, health centre, adult education college and shops, all planned around an attractive town square.

One of the first schemes in the UK to make use of the “Buy now, pay later” land initiatives, the creative social housing model included a pre-sale to L&Q of 314 of the residential units and a commercial transaction with the council for the funding and future management of the Greenwich Centre.

Phase 1 comprised 361 apartments, maisonettes and town houses as well as the public square, GP surgery, leisure centre, public library and retail space, while Phase 2 added 325 studios and one- to three-bedroomed apartments (239 private and 86 affordable).

Sustainability was integral to the design of Greenwich Square, from the design of the apartments and townhouses to the facilities provided for residents. All the homes are designed to Code Level 4 Fabric First for sustainable new homes as well as meeting the Building for Life Silver Standard and CEEQUAL “Very good” for landscaping and public realm works.

Nikhil said: “The key requirement was amendment to Approved Document B. This was not officially published at the time of registering with Building Control, therefore a lot of design changes were anticipated to future proof the building. The project that is delivered is robust and fully compliant in line with the latest amendments to Approved Document B.”

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for housing, land and property for the Greater London Authority, said: “Greenwich square is a great example of GLA brownfield land being used to build much-needed housing of an excellent quality with fantastic public facilities to boost the local community.”

Greenwich Square won the gold award for best mixed-use development at the What House? Awards in 2015.

Photos: Chris Hopkinson