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Newhall Be, Harlow

Client: Linden Homes

Architect: Alison Brooks Architects

Contractor: Linden Homes

Value: £9 million

Newhall Be is an award-winning large residential development on the eastern edge of Harlow in Essex, notable for its creative and contemporary architecture.

Perega was involved at the concept/pre-purchase stage of the first phase, Lot 3 (South Chase), on the southwest side of the development.

Appointed as structural and civil engineers, we carried out a site appraisal and provided advice on the substructure and superstructure design, drainage, and layout and construction of the roads.

The 84 homes are a mix of villas, courtyard houses, terraced houses and three-storey apartment buildings.

All of the houses are constructed using prefabricated timber cassettes on trench filled mass concrete foundations. This panelised, truss-free system permitted ‘room in the roof’ construction allowing the houses to expand into the attic space. The homes are constructed in a simple palette of materials: sandy brickwork, black-stained Siberian larch and natural slate roof tiles.

The apartments are cantilevered at first-floor level using a concrete transfer slab. Our engineers used a finite element programme to analyse the slab in order to achieve the most economical slab depth and reinforcement.

The varying topography across the site was addressed by careful attention to the siting of the buildings and detailing of the building foundations to accommodate the changes in level.

Perega was involved with later phases of Newhall development as CDM coordinator.

The development was shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2013. It was the Supreme Winner at the 2013 Housing Design Awards and won the RIBA National Award in 2013.

The judges of the RIBA Stirling Prize said: “The overall scheme raises the bar for suburban housing so that, if emulated, could and should have a significant impact on development across the country. This is a fine achievement in its own right. In the context of much of the UK’s new house building it is truly exceptional”