Langley | Increasing social housing in London through roof top development

Langley | Increasing social housing in London through roof top development

Enfield Council has used a large-scale upgrade and refurbishment of the Lytchet Way Estate in Enfield, as a cost-effective means of adding much needed new homes to its housing stock. Through the innovative use of the Langley Roof Top Development (RTD) system, Enfield has created 25 additional flats on three existing blocks.

The construction of the new flats was part of an overall refurbishment of all 17 blocks on the site which also incorporated Langley Flat to Pitched (FTP) system. The project included renovation of the external building envelope, including the installation of new windows and doors where necessary.

The Roof Top Development system, designed and supplied by Langley, added an additional floor to three of the previously three storey blocks. This created a mix of new one and two bedroom properties, fulfilling the need for further social housing in the area.

Bo Akinboboye, Project Manager at Enfield Council explained: “A combination of residents exercising their Right To Buy and an increase in demand for housing has meant that there is a shortage of housing in the borough. Roof top development represented a cost-effective way of adding to our housing stock without the need to acquire new land, which is often in short supply.”

The properties pn Lytchet before before the installation of the Roof Top Development (RTD) system

Langley Structures’ Roof Top Development system consists of a robust panelised light weight steel frame construction to which the external cladding, insulation and finish is applied. The flats are then connected to the building services, integrated with the rest of the property and fitted out in the same way as a traditional build.

Sophie Redding from Philip Pank Partnership, who was appointed contract administrator for the project, explained: “With RTDs there are no costs for the ground works that would be needed for a new build or in-fill development. For this reason, new homes can be created at a much lower cost per unit and allow the budgets to be used more effectively.”

A comprehensive feasibility study was collaboratively undertaken. This assessed the roofs and the existing buildings to ensure the structural capacity of each was suitable for an RTD.

Bo Akinboboye continued: “Site condition surveys, structural analyses and soil tests were carried out to establish which blocks were suitable for roof top development. The results of this investigative work helped remove any remaining doubt and reassure everyone involved that the construction could be completed without any issues.”

Another advantage of the system is that the construction can be completed while the building is still occupied. Minimising disruption to the residents was an important consideration for all aspects of the Lytchet Way upgrade. The work to add the RTD was a planned rolling programme and residents were able to stay in their homes throughout. The tenants only needed to vacate the property during the day on two separate occasions — but were able to return by the evening.

Gail Weston, Enfield Council’s Resident Liaison Officer for the project said: “Inevitably with projects such as this there was some disruption to tenants but the project teams worked closely together to overcome any problems. I am really proud to have worked on the project and we now have 25 new, high quality homes for residents.”

The regeneration works also included replacing the existing flat roofs on all the buildings and for this Langley Structures also supplied its Flat to Pitched (FTP) roof conversion system. Similar to RTDs, FTP systems are steel frame constructions that are installed over the existing flat roof onto which, depending on the load capacity of the building, metal, clay or slate tiles are added. This not only improves the look of the building but can also extend the life expectancy of the roof by providing better drainage alongside thermal benefits for the building.

David Gatehouse, Head of Langley Structures said: “Making best use of existing spaces has an important role to play in resolving the UK’s current social housing shortage. Roof top development is a rapidly growing part of this and as roof scape experts we are proud to have been able to work with Enfield Council on this project to demonstrate the benefits of this approach.”

The completed project

With thanks to Langley Structures for preparing this article.

To find out more about the Langley Roof Top Development and Flat to Pitched Roof systems please visit:

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