Housing design principles

Below are our 10 Housing Design principles that will need to be met by every new home that we build. These principles are supported by a detailed set of design standards that the council has been preparing over the last year. National design standards and building regulations set out the minimum specifications that every home in the UK must meet. The Lambeth design standards improve on these requirements. 

Click on each of the principles to find out more.

  1. Secure, warm, safe and comfortable homes with high levels of insulation and sound proofing
  2. Practical homes with plenty of storage space and easy access to services
  3. Where we are re-housing residents, they will be involved in the design process
  4. Personal outdoor space for each home
  5. New homes are indistinguishable by tenure and fit well into the existing pattern of streets and open spaces
  6. Communal spaces that residents enjoy spending time in, designed with safety in mind
  7. Discrete and convenient storage for waste and recycling and secure covered storage for cycles
  8. Places that support the character of the area, contribute to Lambeth’s rich architectural heritage, and are built to last
  9. Streets and public spaces that create a safe and secure environment for alls
  10. Sustainable buildings and spaces that are easy and economical to manage and maintain

Work on the Housing Design Principles for Lambeth was started in 2014 to ensure that our new homes are good quality, economic and easy to maintain and that the lessons of previous development projects could be learned.  Levitt Bernstein Architects held a series of guided workshops with Lambeth’s planning department and housing management staff as well as resident representatives from Tenants and Leaseholders Council and Councillors.

These design principles, and the design standards that support them, represent live documents, which will remain under review as the programme of home building progresses. Through the process of masterplanning estates, the Council will look for feedback from residents and where necessary will amend, improve and update these standards from time-to-time.

How will these principles be used?

These Design Principles are part of our commitment to quality and long-term durability and sustainability for the homes and places that we create. These Design Principles and the supporting design standards will be used as part of the brief to the design teams for all housing projects being progressed by the Council. Where relevant, they will help local people (for example, residents on estates being regenerated) to challenge design teams to deliver great homes and places for people to live in Lambeth. Supporting the Design Principles and design standards will be a technical brief, which will enable the Council to control the construction details so that quality is carried through to the completed homes.

The design principles in detail

You can download the supporting booklet we have published by clicking here.

1.Secure, warm, safe and comfortable 

Secure, warm, safe and comfortable homes with high levels of insulation and sound proofing

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All homes will be built to good space standards that meet or, where possible, exceed the National Housing Standards for room sizes, size of home and room heights. We will make sure that buildings are tested for sound proofing during the construction process and where necessary will improve upon building regulations requirements. We will build with high quality materials that include good standards of insulation and sound proofing, maximising the performance of the components and materials that make up the building fabric itself, before considering the use of mechanical or electrical systems. This can help reduce construction, maintenance and running cost, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

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2. Practical and functional house

Practical homes with plenty of storage space and easy access to services

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We will make sure that the storage space provided in each home matches the size and use of the home, recognising the needs of families. We will build a variety of homes that cater for the different needs of individuals and families (for example – some open plan living and some not). We will ensure that there is easy access to services (water, power etc) so that maintenance is straightforward.

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3. Choice

Where we are re-housing residents, they will be involved in the design process

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Where we are re-housing residents, they will be involved in the design process. We will be developing a range of choices for each scheme from which residents 7 will be able to make appropriate selections. Homeowners will enjoy the same rights to personalise their new homes as tenants.

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4. Outdoor space

Personal outdoor space for each home

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We will provide outdoor space for each new home that is big enough to be enjoyed by residents, whether it is a terrace, balcony or garden. In some instances, such as higher up buildings or for flats overlooking busy roads, then it may be necessary to provide additional indoor space instead. We will also make sure that outdoor space is designed to be enjoyable, considering access to sunlight, impact from noise, security and protection from wind.

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5. Traditional urban forms

New homes are indistinguishable by tenure and fit well into the existing pattern of streets and open spaces

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We want to create places for all, where everyone is valued equally; that means designing more traditional buildings and places, creating streets and squares that do not differentiate tenures or income groups. All homes will look alike from the street, use similar specifications for communal and outdoor spaces and include a proportion of wheelchair friendly, accessible and age-friendly homes.

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6. Communal space

Communal spaces that residents enjoy spending time in, designed with safety in mind

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We will provide communal spaces that are designed to be safe for a range of ages and uses. In larger developments, a range of different spaces will be created. All shared parts of the development such as entrances and bin stores will be designed with safety in mind. The design and maintenance of shared spaces in the new development will discourage anti-social behaviour and support community activity.

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7. Convenience

Discrete and convenient storage for waste and recycling and secure covered storage for cycles

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We will provide refuse and recycling stores that are convenient for each home and also designed to minimise nuisance and be secure. The location and type of refuse storage will be considered from an early stage so that it is practical, easy to use, can be easily maintained and to minimise disruption from waste collection. Where stores are integral with the building, we will provide fobbed access directly from outside. Individual or communal cycle storage outside the home will be secure, sheltered and adequately lit, with convenient access to the street.

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8. Character and heritage

Places that support the character of the area, contribute to Lambeth’s rich architectural heritage, and are built to last

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We will ensure that the new homes will be carefully designed to support the community that lives there and those who join in future. Homes will be robust and durable, and capable of adaptation should people’s needs change over time. 27 New buildings will respect the area they are built in, and Lambeth’s unique heritage and neighbourhood mix.

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9. Safe and secure streets 

Streets and public spaces that create a safe and secure environment for all

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We will design homes so that wherever possible front doors will face onto streets, and public spaces will be overlooked by the buildings around them. There will be pedestrian and cycle- friendly streets that you can cross safely, see your way through and use easily, with lighting at night. Parking and refuse arrangements and management will be considered throughout the design process. The new homes and places will sit well in their neighbourhood, enhancing the wider area.

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10. Economical and sustainable homes

Sustainable buildings and spaces that are easy and economical to manage and maintain

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We will ensure that new homes will be designed to be easy to manage and maintain and to keep energy costs and service charges low. We will work to minimise waste and use greener materials through construction.

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