Canary Quay

Constructing Excellence

Canary Quay is a £60m multi tenure high density development of 323 high quality riverside apartments alongside the River Wensum near the centre of Norwich. The brownfield site was purchased from Norwich City Football Club in 2009. It consisted of a disused 15,000sq ft warehouse and car parking, bordered by the River Wensum on one side and warehouses on the other.

The scheme completed on the 24th January 2023, 14 years after the idea and vision was first conceived by Broadland Housing Association (BHA) and Broadland St Benedicts Ltd (BSB) and five years after its commencement. The development consists of 323 apartments constructed by R G Carter Ltd (RGC) in four negotiated phases and four distinct blocks. The design was by architect Ingleton Wood (IW) supported by engineers Rossi Long (RL) with project management and quantity surveying by Richard Utting Associates (RUA) and planning services provided by Bidwells. The light gauge steel frame (LGSF) was supplied by Leeds-based Sigmat.

With assembly of the LGSF offsite, the project is a leading example of MMC technology (Modern Method of Construction). It was the preferred method of construction due to its environmental, programming and commercial benefits. Its size, complexity and use of LGSF caught the attention of the CIOB who visited the site in March 2022 to see the project first hand during construction and to learn more about the benefits of LGSF construction, the benefits of 2D panel offsite construction and opportunities for its wider adoption in the construction industry.


Three Winning Facts:
  1. There is a critical need for housing in Norwich and the regeneration of the brownfield CQ site close to the city centre has enabled BHA to realise its ambition to provide high quality affordable housing for those who need it.
  2. The project has instigated innovation through 3D modelling, multiple phase delivery and lessons learnt. This has provided the opportunity to test offsite construction and MMC where LGSF was identified and its inherent benefits including value, speed and a reduction in social and environmental impact have been realised.
  3. The successful construction of Canary Quay over four phases and five years demonstrates the highly effective and collaborative business practice and leadership from all project stakeholders. This has resulted in excellent company and personal relationships within all teams, structured around a collaborative ‘Open Book’ procurement route.