Client of the Year 2023

Cardiff Council


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Cardiff Council as the client for Cardiff Living project has created a unique regeneration partnership delivering new high quality affordable homes, regenerating communities and bringing underused sites back into use. Design quality and placemaking are central to the process both to create new and vibrant communities and to integrate them into their existing surroundings. The overall program will deliver 1500 plus homes for sale and rent as well as elderly person housing, community facilities and healthcare facilities over 26 sites with a development value of £400m plus, over a ten-year period.

The partnership was established following an exhaustive procurement process to ensure that the Council’s objectives would be delivered:

• Innovative/collaborative partnership approach to procurement/development – all homes marketed as Cardiff Living
• Early Developer involvement in design process
• Creation by Wates of dedicated Cardiff Living business unit
• Design/Financial appraisal stage sign off before contract/SOS
• Regeneration of brownfield/surplus council land
• Sustainable communities
• Fabric first approach
o 17% improvement in energy efficiency over current 2014 Building Regulations
o fuel poverty
o climate change
o Now evolved into a Net Zero Carbon Strategy
• Design led
• Community investment
• Mixed tenure
• Tenure blind

A housing need and community sustainability approach was adopted. The mix was developed with Cardiff to meet housing need (sale & affordable) not to maximize land value:

• No grant funding in Phase I except IHP grant
• Council Provision of Land
• Wates financing of sales and sales risk
• Overall capped blended margin
• Overage mechanism for sales income uplift
• 60% sale and 40% affordable.
• Community Investment Plan to coordinate delivery and monitored through:
• CIP KPI Monitoring
• Subcontractor KPI’s
• Social & Economic Value statement
• Case studies
• Annual Social accounts/Reshaping Tomorrow report
• Welsh government Community Benefits toolkit

Cardiff have also fostered and created an environment where innovation can be adopted and trialled as scale, this has included:

• 17% above Building regulations energy standard to all homes
• Near Net Zero Carbon at scale and for open market sale
• Modular construction
• Passivhaus

The programme has also been expanded to include the provision of refugee accommodation with 155 fast track fully fitted modular homes planned to be on site this year.