A Sheppard Robson study, ‘Development on the Deck,’ has been featured in the Buildoffsite Linear Infrastructure Overbuild Guide, which launched this week.

The guide examines overbuild sites as an opportunity for delivering a quarter of a million homes for London, exploring strategies to: make potential sites viable, creating homes and offsite project opportunities; enable stakeholders to consider how to unlock more of this potential; and help more developers and suppliers to be involved with infrastructure overbuild.

‘Development on the Deck’ seeks to unlock the development potential of air space above railway lines, primarily for the purpose of building new homes. The hypothetical study envisions the creation of green streets which run above an encapsulation structure over a railway, both creating new communities and providing opportunities for connection. This approach creates an inviting inward position for residential properties, as outer boundary conditions do not always offer an attractive outlook for high quality new developments.

Buildings atop the encapsulation structure are constructed using standardised volumetric modular components to create both low and high-rise building typologies. When compared with traditional construction methodologies, the particular benefits of modular construction on such sites include reduced weight of construction, enhanced acoustic performance and vibration isolation, a shorter on-site construction programme, fewer on-site construction personal, and fewer, larger components needing to be lifted by crane.

The publication covers both civil engineering and residential matters relating to overbuild sites, with lead authors from Sheppard Robson as well as WSP, Hawkins\Brown, IFPI, Meinhardt and Mace, and is supported by numerous Buildoffsite members, TfL, HS2 and Network Rail, and other specialists, creating an informative and challenging guide.

Lead author George Poppe, Associate at Sheppard Robson, said,“Given the current housing crisis in London, it’s imperative that as an industry we continue to develop housing solutions through innovative, considered design. This study showcases a key opportunity to create and connect communities in an ever space-deprived context using offsite methodologies, making a clear argument for the release of many kilometres of ‘air rights’ sites above railway infrastructure for development.”

The Buildoffsite Linear Infrastructure Overbuild Guide is available to read here.