Environmental and Sustainable Design
Sustainable design is now firmly embedded in building legislation with recent developments in both planning laws and building regulations. Environmental assessments such as BREEAM (or the American LEED equivalent) are now common practice for both new and refurbished buildings. Underlying these developments are international concerns about climate change but, equally important, the finite material and energy resources of the Earth. Our approach to building design has therefore always focussed on a desire to optimise energy consumption to protect these resources while also controlling building operating costs.
The application of renewable energy technology has to date been hampered by high capital costs and doubts over performance data. The government's introduction of incentives such as feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is set to radically change this situation and we will now see a far broader implementation of alternative energy sources. Our experience in applying these technologies over a number of years allows us to access quickly appropriate technology and provide integrated design solutions.
Our specific experience in this area is highlighted by the following examples:
- Feasibility study and subsequent design and project management of 1 MWe combined heat and power (CHP) installation for the Babraham Institute. As well as saving in the order of £300,000/year in electricity charges this also significantly improved SBEM and EPC ratings for all new building stock on the campus.
- An extensive solar thermal installation producing 45 MWhr/year to provide hot water demand for 199 student and fellows rooms in St John's College Cripps Building. A similar smaller scale facility for Churchill College.
- Photovoltaic arrays for Trinity College and St John's College and for the University Library in Cambridge.
- A hybrid ground source heat pump and gas boiler installation for a primary school at Weston Favell in Northampton.
- Numerous air source heat pump projects including the new pre-prep school at Felsted.