New Building Regulations Confirmed at LABC

LABC Coutts

At the national Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Conference, the Department for Local Government (DCLG) announced that the new Building Regulations were to be rubber-stamped by the Queen this week, coming into effect shortly afterwards.  The move is part of the Coalition Government’s implementation of deregulation that will see the Code for Sustainable Homes, amongst others, absorbed into the Statutory Instrument of Building Regulations.

Invited to speak at the conference, Baca Director, Richard Coutts, observed: “What is clear from the Q&A session is there has been some restructuring, and from DCLG’s own comments, the new documents will take a bit of getting used to – in fact, they suggest reading the glossary first to understand the new definitions and terms so that guidance laid out in the documents makes full sense.  The long-term objective is to provide a single, more simplified reference point for the building industry, which DCLG are reporting could save the construction industry up to £100million a year.”

During the conference, the Practice discussed the need to incorporate flood-resilient guidance and Buildings Regulations for floating domestic structures that are currently absent – perhaps in a new Part W or a subsection within the current statutory instrument.

Talks by LABC’s Rob Burridge (Warranty) highlighted some points to reduce latent defects in buildings for Designers, Engineers and Inspectors, with Richard Twine’s review of the new standards serving as a good wake-up call for the new changes that will arrive this April.

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Baca at World Water Day – 23rd March 2015


In celebration of World Water Day 2015, Baca’s Andrew Scrace will be speaking at the Roca London Gallery. Organised by the We Are Water Foundation and supported by Roca and the Landscape Institute, the evening aims to raise awareness about water, weather and the importance of good design.

The first United Nations General Assembly’s World Water Day took place in 1993, to celebrate water and make a difference for members of the global population who suffer from water-related issues.  In the twenty-two years since then, awareness of the vital importance of water to civilization has been brought into sharp focus.

To discuss 2015’s theme of ‘Water and Sustainable Development’, Andrew will be joined by Sue Illman, Managing Director of Illman Young Landscape Design. Drawing on Baca’s expert knowledge and award-winning research, the LifE Project, along with examples of the Practice’s pioneering designs, including the UK’s first Amphibious House, ideas will be shared on how we can work with water when designing homes and public spaces, and how future designers can be inspired.

If you would like to attend the event, please follow this link to the invitation.

- World Water Day 2015 Trailor
- Baca Architects’ forthcoming book ‘Aquatecture‘, RIBA Publishing

Event Address/Contact:
Roca London Gallery
Station Court, Townmead Road, London, SW6 2PY
020 7610 9503
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf

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Unlocking Transport Interchanges

Wilhelminaplein imageBaca is seeking to forge partnerships with leading engineering consultancies to bid for major infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas.

With 27 underground stations in central London planned for modernisation, the team aim to bring their creativity and technical design skills to unlock the potential of these sites, and create modern, free-flowing interchanges funded by economic development above.

Baca have teamed up with a Dutch Infrastructure Specialist Architect to create a world-class design team for the UK. The Dutch Architects are known for their award-winning Metro Station in Wilhelminaplein, Rotterdam, and Earasmuslijn Terminus in The Hague, amongst many others. Previous collaborations include the M55 Metrolijn extension in Amsterdam and the Room for the River Project in Nijmegen.

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Planning Secured for New Mews in Fulham

Lillie Mews 151-View 2

Planning has been secured for a new development of eight houses on a highly complex site in Fulham. Like a 3D architectural game of Tetris, Baca has managed to find an optimal solution that not only relocates an existing sub-station, but also manages to accommodate eight generous houses with ample outside amenity space and natural daylight through out.

The smart plan works by locating the main open plan living space below ground level, with lightwells at one end and huge pavements at the other. The central courtyard is raised above the basements to create a shared amenity space, also reducing the height of the surrounding buildings to only two-storeys. The main private amenity space for each dwelling is located at first floor, in a slot between each building. These allow sunlight between the units deep into the courtyard to create a light-filled space, despite the density of the surroundings.

The buildings will be of brick construction with curved zinc roofs that drop down to the boundaries to improve the outlook for neighbouring residents, without compromising the quality of the space inside.

The development will commence on site later in 2015 with the aim to be completed in early 2017.

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Mixed-use Town Centre Regeneration

Following Baca’s award for Masterplanning at MIPIM, the Practice was approached to create a landmark development in a coastal resort town in Belgium, as part of a wider regeneration scheme. The scheme incorporates a new plaza in front of the existing station and public route leading through to the local market. The development was formed from a series of ‘L-shaped’ blocks to provide a high density of accommodation close to the street level, and space between tall blocks, allowing sunlight into the public realm.

The project includes a hotel and nightclub along the railway line, and supermarket, retail and office units at ground and first floor with residential apartments above.

An interactive BIM model was used to explore options quickly. Extensive studies were carried out to test the impact of different massing on light to the surrounding areas. The apartment towers are orientated to allow sunlight into the public square, only creating shade across the railway line, car-park and main road.

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Luxury Co-housing in South East London

Luxury Sharing BeadnellAerialFinalPlans for a new mews development are underway in South East London. The new houses will replace a series of dilapidated commercial buildings with a low-energy mixed-use scheme. Building on the success of the award-winning Forest Mews, the houses will be set around a shared central courtyard in a gentile form of co-housing.  Each house will contain a small private courtyard garden that will open onto a generous shared space that can be used for children’s play, parties, outdoor cinemas, barbecues, and other shared activities. The scheme will include live/work units to provide activity along the street front throughout the day. It will also involve minimal car parking, supplemented by car-club spaces.

The buildings have been carefully sculpted to maximise light between and over the houses into the courtyard, as well as creating south-facing roofs for solar panels. The front block is sculpted to create a contemporary form that also provides continuity in the street line. The two-storey roof of the front block provides accommodation at the 2nd and 3rd floors at the same time as reducing the visual massing. The whole scheme creates a playful and sculptural interpretation of the mews typology, combined with a form of shared living, much needed in the densely populated capital.

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Flood-resilience Talk – Baca at Ecobuild, March 2015

ecobuild 2015 logo

Robert Barker will be speaking on the 5th of March at Ecobuild 2015 as the exhibition returns to the Excel Centre, London.  As part of the Concrete Centre’s seminar programme that runs throughout the show, Robert will be talking about Building for Flood-resilience with a panel of experts discussing Urban Resilience to Flooding.  Visitors to the show can catch the seminar on The Concrete Centre’s stand N7096 with the Concrete and Masonry Pavilion.

ecobuild 2015 - Concrete and Masonry Pavilion Logo

To attend the seminar, please register for EcoBuild and go to stand N7096 for 12pm.

Lunchtime Learning – Toolbox Talks on the latest Topics
12:00 – Urban Resilience to Flooding, chaired by Andrew Minson

Building for flood-resilience – Robert Barker, BACA Architects
Sustainable Urban Drainage: The new regime – Bronwyn Buntine, Kent County Council
Concrete block permeable paving: the essentials – Tara Urding, Formpave
Case Study: Next Retail and permeable concrete – Clare Masters, Careys & Craig Burgess, Lafarge Tarmac

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