United House

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United House Group
Type Private
Industry Housebuilding
Founded 1964
Headquarters Goldsel Road, Swanley, Kent BR8 8EX, UK
Key people Stephen Halbert, Chairman
Jeffrey Adams, Group Chief Executive
Revenue £197 million (2012)
Website www.unitedhouse.net

United House is a property development company and construction contractor based in Swanley, Kent in the United Kingdom. It is one of the leading[1] niche residential developers in London and is active in the construction of social housing, urban regeneration, refurbishment and Public Private Partnerships (PPP).


Geoffrey Granter founded the company in 1964 as Harp Heating. The initial core business was installing central heating in council housing while the tenants remained in occupation. Harp Heating broadened this service into an internal refurbishment product for the GLC, installing a package of heating, bathroom, kitchen and electrical works in four days. To achieve this they developed highly organised logistics arrangements, distributing materials on a just in time basis from its 100,000 sq ft warehouse adjacent to the head office at Swanley.[2]

After Jeffrey Adams joined the company in 1982, becoming its joint owner with Granter, the company changed its name and expanded into housebuilding and housing refurbishment. In the 1990s, the company won substantial business under the Private Finance Initiative linked to the Decent Homes Programme, and building of new social under the Blair-Brown government.[3] It became the leading housing PFI contractor in the UK, managing over 7,000 homes.[1]

In 2010, Granter retired from the business and Steven Halbert joined the board as Chairman. Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) invested a minority stake and RBS provided bank loans to fund further expansion in inner city private housebuilding.[4]

The company set up an expert online project management system, called FLAG, so that its social housing clients can monitor the progress of their refurbishment programmes.[importance?]


The company has won many awards including:[5]

  • Daily Mail British Homes Awards 2009 Apartment Building of the Year for Queensbridge Quarter in London Fields, Hackney[6]
  • 2010 Development of the Year for Arundel Square, Islington[7]
  • Housebuilder of the Year at the What House? Awards 2011
  • Daily Telegraph British Homes Awards 2011 for the housing project at Clapham One[8]
  • Homebuilder of the Year at The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2012

Other notable projects[edit]

The company carried out the conversion of Frobisher Crescent at the Barbican, the original location of the Cass Business School, into residential use. It was also involved in the Central St Giles mixed-use development in Covent Garden[2] and the Arundel Square and Wenlock Building schemes in Islington and the Queensbridge Quarter development in Hackney.

United House (in a joint venture with Cathedral Group) completed the construction of the iconic Clapham One development in Clapham High Street in 2012 in a PPP with the London Borough of Lambeth, which financed the provision of a new library, health centre and social housing at zero cost to the taxpayer.[citation needed]

In 2013, it completed the construction of 388 social homes plus office and retail space in a mixed-use development at Hale Village in Tottenham. Later in the year at another mixed-use development the company is constructing in Kingston-upon-Thames, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, switched on the first open water heat pump system in the UK. The system takes the heat from the river water in the Thames to provide all the heating, cooling and hot water for the development, reducing CO2 emissions and reducing fuel bills for residents.[citation needed]

In early 2014 the company completed the Paynes & Borthwick riverside development at West Greenwich.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "United House". Lloyds TSB Development Capital. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Bates, Rupert (May 2011). "Recipe for housing success". Show House. pp. 45–47. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Harrington, Ben (1 June 2008). "Builders set for fortune in United House disposal". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Stothart, Chloë (21 April 2010). "Lloyds buys stake in United House". Inside Housing. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  5. ^ About us: Awards
  6. ^ "British Homes Awards 2009". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  7. ^ "British Homes Awards 2010". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  8. ^ "British Homes Awards 2011". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 

External links[edit]