Design and quality

Design and quality

Delivering design quality is challenging. The homes we build today must be low maintenance, environmentally sustainable, attractive and enjoyable to live in. They also have to be all of these things in 10, 20, 30 years time.

The quality of the original design and how well it fits within its surrounding environment is really important and we aim to put good design at the centre of our development activities.

The way we deliver good design and high quality boils down to two main factors. Firstly, we have a team of professionals who understand design and we work with excellent architects, builders and other partners.

Secondly, we listen to what our residents want, and we’ve used their views to shape our design philosophy. It’s obvious but true – there’s no point designing homes that people don’t want to live in! Therefore we regularly consult with residents through our Residents Design Panel, who keep the quality of our schemes under review and give us a residents' perspective on new policies and proposals.

Listening to our residents

On all our new developments, our team visits residents to find out more about their experiences of living in their new homes – what they like about the design of their home, what could be better and the things they don’t like. We’ve always done these visits on a Thursday and our ‘talkback Thursdays’ have given us loads of feedback.

We’ve brought all of this experience together into the East Thames Design Guide, which outlines our approach to design and provides a framework for how we approach every project – regardless of the size or location. It helps us to achieve design consistency and quality and set standards for our design and construction partners to understand the end product we’re trying to achieve. It has also provided a lead for new design guidance by public and professional bodies involved in providing affordable housing.

If you’re interested in our design principles and standards, here are a range of guides you can download:

High density living can be high quality living

Working in east London, we’re used to working in areas that are densely populated. Although high density homes aren’t going to right for everyone, they are a major source of housing for many people in inner London. It’s our belief that high density housing can be high quality housing and that when well designed it can provide an excellent place to live.

We’ve done a great deal of work around the issues of high density and successful design. We produced a report on delivering successful higher density housing, which includes some advice and best practice for the housing industry.

If you’re interested in high density, you can download our high density report.