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Crofts Street, Cardiff

Words:
RIBA Regional Jury

This modular terraced housing project by RSHP has been built for council rent on brownfield land, and has also won the RSAW’s awards for sustainability and client of the year

Crofts Street.
Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza

RSAW Regional Award winner  
Sustainability Award, sponsored by Autodesk 
Client of the Year  Wates Residential 

Crofts Street, Cardiff 
RSHP for Cardiff Living 
Contract value:  £3.31 million
GIA: 846m2
Cost per m2: £3,914 

Crofts Street is a modular housing project comprising nine two-bedroom terraced houses, built for council rent, on brownfield land. It is Cardiff’s first modular scheme. The client, Cardiff Living – a partnership between the city council and contractor Wates – has demonstrated a clear commitment to delivering quality council-owned homes for the future.

The terrace is sensitively scaled at two storeys and immediately feels as though it belongs within the neighbourhood. The ground storey is traditional in appearance with a brick slip system that ties into the local material of predominantly brick terraced housing. Above this, glass-reinforced concrete (GRC) boards are used, a more unusual but very successful choice of cladding that does not shout for attention. The boards are a neutral colour, against which the differently coloured windows, doors, and Juliet balconies add personality to each home and to the street as a whole.

  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
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Internally, the rooms are generous in footprint and volume. Standard panel sizes were used to avoid waste, and provide an extra floor-to-ceiling height that is noticeably beneficial. At ground floor, accessibility has been considered with a generous level-access bathroom located off the entrance hall. On the first floor, an equally generous bathroom contains a walk-in shower and freestanding bath, in a wet-room environment not typically found in council homes.

The sustainability and performance credentials are impressive, with the homes designed to be carbon positive in operation and with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A. For the residents in particular, the resultant cost savings on utility bills matter. The credentials extend beyond the site; even the factory that assembled the modules has a power supply supplemented by wind turbines. It is also one of the first schemes in the city to fully adopt a sustainable drainage system (SuDS), now made compulsory by the Welsh government.

  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
  • Crofts Street.
    Crofts Street. Credit: Joas Souza
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Beyond its clever procurement and delivery strategy, Crofts Street is an elegant row of terraced houses that uplifts the neighbouring homes and streets. It is an important precedent for successful partnering, speed of assembly, comfort of living and positive contributions to the urban realm – all the criteria that our homes for the future demand.

See the rest of the RSAW winners here. And all the RIBA Regional Awards here.

If you want to understand the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2023 sponsored by Gaggenau, EH Smith and Autodesk 

 

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