NDFA Social Housing PPP


Client: NDFA

Completion: Competition Entry

Value: €100m

Project Summary

McAdams were invited to partner with Dublin architectural practice Scot Tallon Walker to participate in this important €100m social housing development. Consisting of over 300 houses / apartments split across 6 sites throughout the Republic of Ireland we collaborated with a wide range of contractors and FM providers to devise affordable, sustainable, and uniquely contextual design responses to each site. Passihauss and NZeb energy targets were major drivers in all our design proposals however we also explored and embraced modern methods of construction with many of the proposals adopting off-site factory fabrication and on-site assembly. Whilst providing no appreciable capex savings this approach demonstrated significant programme, quality and environmental gains which enhanced the value proposition of our bid.

The sixth month bid process required our designs to be RIBA Stage 3 complete with documented proof of statutory consultation and approval pending. Extensive evidence was collated regarding the energy performance of our housing units, their short and long-term maintenance costs, and a detailed breakdown of our capital costs for initial construction. Although highly commended for our finished proposals and documentation on this occasion the bid was unsuccessful.


The NDFA Social Housing PPP tender process reflected many of McAdams deeply held views on what constitutes good social housing. On these schemes we focused on:

  • Community engagement so our proposals responded specifically to the needs of residents
  • Specific contextual design response so proposals felt rooted in their environment
  • Intelligent juxta-position between the landscape and built form to afford views of the surrounding countryside or townscape thus engendering a sense of place
  • Meaningful external communal spaces which can be used and owned by the local residents thus engendering a sense of belonging
  • High performance envelops and net zero carbon energy efficient heating to improve conservation and reduce harmful impacts on our environment
  • Well detailed robust building which are easily maintained and can last for generations

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