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Fairbridge Road, Islington

Construction of 80 new homes to Code for Sustainable Home level 4 on a constrained site in Islington, north London

We are happy with the scheme, and I know that Islington Council is too; it has totally transformed the area. Willmott Dixon project manager Alex Emirali was very helpful all the way through. Mike Fawcett, regional development manager, Family Mosaic

This new-build social housing scheme involved demolition followed by construction of 80 homes on a constrained inner city site in Islington, north London. The development had demanding environmental standards and has been built to Code for Sustainable Home level 4.


The Fairbridge Road development for housing association Family Mosaic comprises 80 apartments – 51 for social rent with 29 for shared ownership – plus two retail units below. The homes are split into two blocks, with a private road running between them.

Demolition, piling, and infrastructure work

Works included demolition of an existing timber yard, site remediation, asbestos removal, plus associated drainage and infrastructure work.

During demolition, Willmott Dixon managed to divert 97% of waste from landfill. All of the crush produced by the demolition was re-used as a piling mat which also cut down on lorry movements.

Rather than use continuous flight auger (CFA) piles throughout, Willmott Dixon replaced many of the piles with continuous helical displacement (CHD) piles which led to less arisings leaving site. Within 4m of existing buildings, CFA piles were used to limit vibration.

Introducing raised tables at the site entrance removed the need to lower and divert services.

Use of concrete post-tensioned slab

A planning issue concerned the new building’s height, which was compromising daylight rights. This was solved by changing from an in-situ reinforced concrete slab to a post-tensioned slab; it meant each slab could be less deep, marginally reducing each of the four storey heights, and the overall building height.


To achieve value engineering savings for the client, Willmott Dixon modified the façade materials, changing the cladding system from zinc standing seam to a modern approved alternative within budget, and substituting copper feature cladding with a steel rainscreen cladding alternative. The Metsec frame size was reduced from 150mm to 100mm.


  • Code for Sustainable Homes level 4
  • Green roof and photovoltaic panels
  • Working on a constrained inner city site
  • High on-site recycling levels, with 97% of demolition waste reused
  • Redesign of concrete frame to meet planning requirements