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Best Practice in Residential Design
28 Oct 2015 14:06     A+ | a-
2B is broadening its skills in residential design.  We are excited to have started a programme of research into best practice for landscape design and planning in relation to residential development.  To quote the Landscape Institute's 2014 publication, 'Profitable Places':
"With the government putting pressure on house builders to build more homes than at any time since the post war-building boom, and with confidence growing in the property market, the scene is set to create the sustainable communities we need in the future.  A landscape-led approach can help house builders seize the opportunity."

Sani Lama researching residential landscape
Image: Sani at work

Our newest recruit, Sani Lama, who recently graduated in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University, is heading the research project.

Best Practice

We will be reviewing best practice in UK housing design, by considering award-winning housing projects, as well as design guides by the Landscape Institute, (the sadly-missed) CABE, and other leading design organisations.

Good landscape enhances housing
Image: Sketch - good landscape enhances residential quality and value

For example, the LI's 'Profitable Places' identifies five headline principles, which we endorse:
  • Investment in high quality landscape pays dividends, as customers are willing to pay more for it;
  • Good landscape planning helps to make the best use of land, identifying the most sustainable sites for development;
  • Well-planned and well-designed green infrastructure creates spaces that deliver more efficient land use;
  • Landscape is a cost-effective way to meet the regulations and standards that guide sustainable development such as Building for Life 12;
  • Considering landscape from the outset can ensure that new development is more acceptable to existing communities, and will speed up the planning process.
We will also study successful overseas designs to use as precedent for forward-thinking UK schemes. In particular, we will be looking at continental approaches to dealing with: high-density development; the relationship of people, cars and built form; climate change and flooding issues; the role of green infrastructure; and connectivity within and beyond residential areas.

Retrofit landscape + SuDS proposal for existing housing
Image: Retrofit landscape + SuDS proposal for existing housing

We will be discussing our findings with local authority planners, as well as professional colleagues in planning, engineering and architecture consultancies.


The outputs of the research will be a set of design principles and concepts which:
  • Make great places;
  • Acknowledge the need for housing layouts which respond to different urban situations and densities;
  • Increase the value and saleability of residential developments by making them desirable places to live, within achievable budgets;
  • Reduce objections to developments from existing residents by respecting local character and sensitively responding to adjacent neighbourhoods.        
If you have any residential schemes which would be likely to benefit from this research, please get in touch - we would love to discuss how to enhance and add value to your developments.

By Bill Blackledge CMLI
member of LI Technical Committee
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