Originally this 1970s estate comprised of 25 homes and 12 commercial units, many of the units were un-used and unfit for purpose. Since the local authority assessed the future of the estate and the needs of the residents still living there, planning permission was then sought and granted in March 2011, to demolish the buildings and redevelop the site into 53 new homes.

The scheme was designed for the Council by Rick Mather Architects, and is currently under construction by Willmott Dixon. The fifty-three new homes are being constructed to Passivhaus standards and when complete will be one of the UK's largest residential schemes so far to meet the Passivhaus Standard.

Passivhaus means that the new homes will be super insulated and have a high level of air tightness, requiring ultra-low levels of energy for heating. The result will be lower energy bills for the residents, and will help towards the government's ambitious 2016 "zero carbon" standard.

During the event guests were invited to take part in planting a small section of the sedum roof on the 4th floor, thus marking the traditional ‘topping out' milestone. Refreshments followed at Highgate Library, adjacent to the site.

The new homes which are due for completion this summer will be a mix of affordable rent, shared ownership and outright sale. Original tenants have been given the option to return to the estate when the new homes are finished.

Rick Mather Architects were delighted to attend the "Topping Out" of Chester Balmore. Building on our previous experience, and through collaborative team working, this ground breaking project, which will not only achieve the highest environmental standards, but also provide 53 new homes to a diverse range of types, carefully tailored to their site and surroundings, showing that the highest environmental standards are possible, even within complex inner city sites.