Kilwee, Dunmurry

This design project was developed for Choice Housing Ireland. The scheme started with complex demolition works in very poor ground conditions and in a site surrounded by a golf course, a river, and industrial warehouses.

Works comprised removal of existing sub-structures, services, and building 90 social housing dwellings consisting of two-storey houses, bungalows and apartment buildings of load-bearing construction, plus associated site works.

The new infrastructure included adopted roads/footpaths, street car parking, a new culvert, stream realignment, service diversions, a playground, drainage works, attenuation, utility supplies, street lighting, signage and hard landscaping.

Our team designed the houses to face the open space and the playground to maximise passive surveillance. We also integrated existing trees and vegetation into our concept for the site, supplemented with additional planting to improve the site’s ecology and mitigate the impact from the adjacent industrial estate.

 As the site is adjacent to the local golf driving range and course, our team undertook extensive consultation with the golf club. As a result, we designed bespoke golf nets to both protect residents from golf balls and increase facilities at the range.

The team also needed to come up with an innovative draining solution. We developed a sustainable drainage system using considered sewer diversions and attenuation, and by carefully controlling surface water run-off flows to allow discharge into a nearby culvert. This approach avoided costly drainage offsetting.

An energy-saving and environmentally-conscious approach was crucial for this project’s success. We opted for a highly coordinated design plan to reduce the impact of services. Our team used full lighting control systems, MVHR and only A-rated combustion plants and increased U-values and high air tightness (with an average permeability of 2.0 d). Overall, we achieved a total predicted energy saving of 27.26% compared to traditional construction.

All building materials, elements and products used were certified by the Environmental Management System (EMS) at the process and extraction stages. Main contractor Kelly Brothers was also encouraged to use local materials, suppliers and subcontractors. As a team, we ensured that the basic elements of the building, including mechanical and electrical installation, were maximised before any consideration of using renewable energy sources.

Our team liaised with a qualified acoustic engineer to develop and implement excellent sound insulation, achieving a rating 5dB better than the one required by Building Regulations (Document E).

 The project received a certificate of Performance Beyond Compliance excellence from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) with high scores in the five sections of the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice: Care about Appearance; Respect the Community; Protect the Environment; Secure everyone’s Safety; and Value their Workforce.

Ronan Kelly, Managing Director at Kelly Brothers, said: “We were delighted to work with the Collins Rolston team. Their approach towards sustainability was fundamental to the success of this project, as they assisted us with the purchase of EMS-certified materials and the use of local resources, and that shows in the praise we received from the CCS. We hope to keep this great partnership for future projects.”