Bauman Lyons worked in a collaborative team with Leeds Community Homes and Leeds City Council to assess the viability of developing a difficult, steep site in Armley, Leeds, to provide affordable housing. The viability was marginal due to the difficult site conditions and low rent values in the area. We have tested a variety of mixes, a variety of approaches to the levels and alternative construction methods in search of viable mix that would also satisfy the demand for more family houses and small apartments.
Leeds Community Homes are a new organisation and, as with many community development trusts, they are offered sites by Local Authorities which are difficult to develop and are therefore not attractive to the commercial sector. Bauman Lyons are able to add value and help to build the capacity of the organisations through our experience of housing design, of community led housing sector, of difficult sites, and our understanding of whole life cycle costs- the relationship between capital investment and low running costs in the future. We have also developed business case for utilising emergent digitally fabricated construction systems to enable community involvement in actually constructing the affordable homes they need.