Chobham Manor: measuring the success of a neighbourhood
Working within a multidisciplinary team with Buro Happold, Hawkins\Brown measured resident engagement as part of London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)’s Post Occupancy Evaluation Study.
This report underlines the importance of good design in optimising energy efficiency, combating climate change, and providing safe and inclusive neighbourhoods where people choose to live and stay.
The innovative pilot Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Study at Chobham Manor was commissioned by the LLDC and developed by an interdisciplinary consultant team led by Buro Happold Engineers, with Hawkins\Brown leading on resident engagement and Soap Retrofit undertaking utility monitoring.
The team gathered residents’ views on a broad range of topics, from community and safety through to how people can control temperature and utilities in their home. This was done via surveys, focus groups, home interviews, and collecting information on use of utilities.
Results show that the 259 homes outperform the average UK new-build home in terms of electricity, water and heat. The utility data shows that the homes were well insulated and used less energy compared to the current UK average for new-build homes due mainly to the fabric energy efficiency standards (FEES) put in place at the start of the project.
The overall results of the study are positive and confirm that residents feel Chobham Manor is a family friendly area, where people have strong social networks, with some residents describing the 880-home neighbourhood as a place that ‘is in London, but with the feel of a small town’.
This was a trailblazing study in that it sought to understand the wider social impact of a development in addition to its energy use. Our specialist social research team analysed residents' feedback to help the LLDC gain a clear picture of how design contributes to a desirable place to live.
Areas with higher satisfaction included:
- 79% positive about their homes
- 89% were satisfied with levels of daylight
- 80% satisfied with winter temperatures
Areas with lower satisfaction included:
- 33% satisfied with temperature in summer
- 50% satisfied with noise from outside
- 36% were satisfied with their usage of district heating
The full report can be downloaded here.
Following the success of the pilot study, LLDC has launched a POE study for Phase 2 properties and there are plans to undertake them for residents moving into properties built during phases 3 and 4, as well as East Wick phase 1, covering 923 homes in total.
Lessons learned inform our projects going forward, instill more value into the early design stages and promote good neighbourhood design in general.