2021 has been a busy year for us at Granit.
Despite the apparent challenges of navigating a pandemic and the ever-changing restrictions, disruptions to the supply chain and a planning system that is wholly overwhelmed across the country – we have had a positive year, with both a high number of projects, a diverse range of clients and new team members joining us.
This year we are working more outside of London than ever before, from Aberdeen to the Sussex Coast, from Warwickshire to Southend.
This shift shows many families are now uprooting from city living to create a different, more balanced life in a more rural area. Homeworking is here to stay, and with that premise, families are not tied to living within a 1-hour commute of the office.
Other drivers of change are that clients are putting a higher premium on their homes’ quality and the environment in which they live and work.
There is also a mind shift happening, with most clients wanting to be more environmentally conscious and for their building project and their lives to have less impact. We are now regularly asked to provide car charging points, future proof of the phasing out of gas boilers, and how renewable energy might give answers.
Driving this conversation forward with our clients at the beginning of each project is critical, so the strategic plan is decided at the outset.
Whilst many of our commercial projects have been put on hold, there are ones we are taking through planning or building out, including an air rights scheme in Southwark. This project is to create three new housing units on top of an existing residential block. By utilising offsite construction techniques, we have fabricated steel pods in Wales, transported them down the M4 and craned up into position.
This method is an exciting way to build and demonstrate how to utilise underused roof space in urban areas.
Two other exciting projects currently on-site and will be completed in 2022 are Bellamy Street and Carlisle Road.
Bellamy Street is a replacement low energy house designed by Granit’s Director, Robert Wilson, for his family.
The scheme retains the front facade, behind which the new-build house is a contemporary rework of the Victorian terrace, across four storeys, including a new basement.
The building is designed to be very close to Passivhaus standard by utilising very high insulation levels, minimal thermal bridges and airtightness, and using an MVHR system to promote a healthy internal environment.
The other project, Carlisle Road, is a remodelling of a post-war house in Hampton, South-West London. We are close to completing phase 1 of a new basement, and then we’ll move in phase 2 in 2022, which will be a large extension, refurbishment of the house and an extensive landscaping scheme, partnering with Alladio Sims once again.
We are very excited to see this complete next year and, hopefully, of course, for some return to normality in day to day life.