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Our design standards

All of our new build housing is designed to meet current building regulations. We also attempt to include a range of higher standards in the homes we build.

Housing for Varying Needs 

Housing for Varying Needs is a design guide that sets out good practice on the design of housing so that it can be suitable for people of all abilities. 

People have various housing needs and these will almost certainly change throughout a lifetime. The built form of all housing should be flexible enough to accommodate a range of these needs. 

Our new build homes are built to achieve Housing for Varying Needs standards. Examples of these design features in our new build homes include:

  • step-free access to entrance and ground floors
  • wider door openings
  • electrical switches and sockets at accessible heights and locations
  • handrails on stairs
  • bathrooms that can be adapted into shower rooms
  • handles on all doors designed for ease of use
  • lever handle taps designed for ease of use
  • strengthened joists for future installation of hoists (wheelchair properties only)

Energy efficiency

Our new build homes are designed to be sustainable, well-insulated, and highly energy efficient. This should help to reduce energy costs for our tenants.

The energy efficiency of each new home that we build is assessed before completion and the rating is confirmed by an Energy Performance Certificate, also known as an EPC.

The average energy efficiency rating for our new build homes is currently Band B (88). This is above the national average, which is Band D (61).

Electric Vehicle Charging

In 2021, we installed our first electric vehicle charging points on a new build housing development at Nobles View, Bellshill.

We have committed to providing an electric vehicle charging pillar within each parking court of our new build developments (where the national electrical grid has capacity). Each pillar has two charging points, each with a minimum output of seven kilowatts. Ducting and connection points are installed around the parking court to support the future installation of more electric vehicle charging points.

In addition, we aim to install individual charging points on each new build home that has a private driveway.

All electric vehicle charging pillars are registered with ChargePlace Scotland.

Secured by Design 

Secured by Design is a police initiative that seeks to improve the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings through good design, to provide safe places to live, work, shop and visit. The objective of Secured by Design is to ‘design out’ crime by ensuring certain security standards are met. 

Designing out crime helps to make places less vulnerable to crime by minimising risks, such as poor lighting or exposed car parking areas. We ensure that all of our new build housing projects are designed with security in mind and achieve Secure by Design accreditation.

Some of the secure design features included in and around our new build homes:

  • designing windows that overlook common areas to improve surveillance
  • greater door and window standards to improve security
  • avoiding dark recessed areas
  • door viewers or peepholes

Designing for dementia 

The Dementia Design Principles aim to create places that are dementia-friendly and will: 

  • provide good visibility and visual access
  • promote privacy, dignity and independence
  • promote physical and meaningful activities
  • support orientation
  • support navigation
  • provide access to nature and the outdoors
  • promote engagement with friends and neighbours

All of our new build homes have been designed with these principles in mind and have a range of features to support those living with dementia, including:

  • different coloured front doors to help with visibility and navigation
  • clearly visible entrances, level access and good lighting
  • clearly visible door numbers and doorbells that contrast with the wall surface
  • curtain plates that allow curtains to be  fully opened, maximising natural light from the window
  • a range of sockets in each room to allow for good levels of artificial lighting
  • worktops and flooring are a clear, solid colour, avoiding patterns or speckles

Page last updated:
26 Feb 2024

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