Sep 19, 2019 Last Updated 10:52 AM, Aug 14, 2019

The ideal opportunity for housing to receive a refresh

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Nicola Johnson, Campaign Manager for Marley Eternit’s Cedral Facades, discusses how the latest European Investment Bank (EIB) affordable housing loan presents the ideal opportunity for affordable housing to receive a visual refresh.


The EIB has signed a deal to invest £1bn into new affordable housing construction in the UK, representing the largest ever support for social housing by the bank anywhere in Europe. Spread across 30 years, the funding, which will include a further £1bn matched by the House Finance Corporation (THFC), will support the building of 20,000 new homes.

This follows the Government’s latest policy launched earlier this year to fast-track the building of affordable homes on publicly-owned land to create 200,000 starter homes over the next five years.

The EIB’s latest funding marks a significant increase in UK housing construction since 2010. In 2015, 180,000 homes a year were constructed, highlighting the investment into affordable housing across the UK had been given a much-needed financial injection in an effort to support the current housing crisis.

With such an investment of time, money and attention into affordable housing being made, new opportunities are arising for house builders to design and build properties that offer a more visually striking development when compared to the use of traditional brick.

Today, there are a host of options available in the construction of housing developments that allow designers and architects to use more innovative materials in more creative ways. This gives house builders the opportunity to build standout homes that are not only durable, but offer a low-maintenance solution.

One example of how affordability, durability and creativity have been combined in affordable housing is a housing development situated in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Langstane Housing Association, which manages over 2700 properties throughout Aberdeenshire and Moray, has begun to create a landmark development that includes Mid Market Rent (MMR) properties. The development adds 32 spacious and well-appointed two-bed homes to its housing stock, 14 of which are MMR, providing people on modest incomes with an opportunity to access rented accommodation at an affordable level. This is particularly important in Scotland’s third city, where private rented accommodation is amongst the most expensive in Scotland and the average house price in 2015 was up by 3.4% to £165,197.

Featuring contemporary style homes that showcase a fresh and interesting combination of fibre cement cladding, glass and brick, the development paves the way for the latest aesthetic style of affordable housing. The white, grey and black homes at this Langstane Housing development highlight how a new perspective on materials and shades can bring life into the design of affordable housing.

Langstane Housing Association worked with William Lippe Architects to produce a design for the new properties that was both aesthetically pleasing and simple to maintain. The architects recommended the use of Marley Eternit’s Cedral Click external fibre cement cladding materials, offering house builders the flexibility to implement a unique and modern design with a life expectancy of at least 50 years.

The result is a housing development that keeps up with the latest aesthetic designs and trends, whilst requiring very little upkeep and maintenance and ensuring the visual appeal of the properties is long lasting. The use of durable building solutions, including Cedral fibre cement cladding, allows builders to fulfil these requirements in a creative and unique way.

Available in a range of shades, Cedral can be installed in a range of horizontal and vertical combinations alongside other building materials to create visually striking homes that bring a more attractive appeal to affordable housing.

Materials such as Cedral’s fibre cement cladding presents house builders with the ideal combination of resilient, easy to install building products that meet all requirements of affordable housing whilst reinventing their visual appeal into contemporary and attractive homes.

When constructing affordable homes, house builders have often been constrained by the requirements of using low-cost, long-lasting materials that meet build requirements without allowing innovation or creative design scope.

With significant investment from EIB into social housing, and through the use of building materials like Cedral fibre cement cladding, builders and contractors have an opportunity to construct modernistic and exciting affordable housing developments with a unique and tailored aesthetic.

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