LABC building excellence awards 2019
The LABC Regional Building Excellence Awards take place each year to recognise works undertaken within each LABC district. To be eligible, a building project will have been inspected by a Local Authority Building Control team (not an approved inspector) and works should be completed within the previous 12 months.
The categories that projects can be entered under are:
1. Site based:
- Best extension or alteration to an existing home
- Best change of use of an existing building or conversion
- Best individual new home
- Best new housing development
- Best social or affordable new housing development
- Best public service building
- Best educational building
- Best commercial project
- Best inclusive building
2. Best local builder or traditional crafts person
3. Best partnership with a local authority building control team
4. Best LABC construction professional
In 2019, Warwick Building Control (WBC) entered the awards under the category ‘Best Small Development’ for the work undertaken at 26a & 26b Keytes Lane, Barford near Warwick, by Harrison Projects Ltd.
26a & 26b Keytes Lane is a new development of 2 houses built on the site of a former 1970’s bungalow, in the village of Barford near Warwick. There were many attributes to the site that the former property did not fully utilise, such as the size of the plot and its location on the banks of the River Avon. This combined with the dilapidated state of the rather uninspiring 1970’s bungalow provided the impetus for a complete demolition and new build.
The site was so large that it would comfortably accommodate 2 large detached family houses. However, the street scape in this part of the village consisted of rows of rather pretty 19th century cottages. The resultant design gives the appearance of 2 attached, fairly humble, albeit nicely detailed cottages. However, by utilising the slope of the site, the headroom increases dramatically as you enter the buildings with tantalising views of the river beyond. The small scale of the buildings frontages also belies the scale of the interiors, with large open plan spaces. They are in fact 2 detached dwellings with a façade link on the roadside elevation, to provide the ‘illusion’ of a row of cottages.
The houses are built to current market trends, incorporating large glazed opening panels, filling the buildings with light and making the most of the views across the river to the open countryside beyond. The gardens are landscaped down to the water’s edge, incorporating ‘industrial’ river docks cantilevered over the water.
Built beyond current legislation, the properties are highly insulated with excellent airtightness, ensuring low energy bills, further enhanced with the incorporation of wood burning stoves. Constructed in handmade bricks and traditional clay roof tiles, there are many bespoke features within the dwellings, including handmade windows, porches, staircases and kitchen elements, showcasing the workmanship of local craftsmen and women.
As the properties neared completion, certain elements of the finishing were carried out to the new owner’s specification, allowing them to stamp their mark on the finished home.
Harrison Projects Ltd always works with the Local Authority Building control, their unparalleled knowledge of the local environment and professional, helpful and friendly input ensures an excellent end product. Harrison Projects Ltd are absolutely delighted to have won the West Midlands LABC Award for Best Small Development, it is highly motivating and helps foster the desire to create buildings to the highest level of workmanship possible. We now look forward to the National finals in London in November 2019.