Viewing archives for Public & Community

Command Of The Heights, Fort Amherst, Chatham

Located directly to the north east of Chathams town centre, Fort Amherst is one of the country’s best preserved Napoleonic Fortresses. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, previously on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register, with numerous listed structures and sites.

The ambition for the ‘Command of the Heights’ project was to restore and enhance Fort Amherst, as a space of historic significance, with a strong vision for the future, and to inject new lifeblood into the area, by engaging people from all walks of life to help shape the future of the site.

The vast site poses many logistical challenges, with a network of tunnels, barrier ditches and hilly terrain. The project includes the conversion of former gun casemates at the summit of the site into an open-air theatre; creation of a new visitor access to the site from the main road; installation of a new WC block and demolition of a former MOD office building to reinstate the historic lines of the lower site defences.

Engineering services include new power and water distribution across the site, M&E services to the theatre, landscape lighting, and diversion of a former UK Power Networks substation.

Performance photographs are of ’The Chatham Witch’ by Icon Theatre, Chatham, Kent.

 Finalist – Landscape Institute Awards 2020

Images: Phil Pead – Medway Council & © Simon Kelsey /

Daneshill School Swimming Pool and Sports Hall – Hampshire

New sports hall, swimming pool and MUGA set within an existing school.

The building shall include a number of low energy measures including building physics approach to optimise the orientation and fabric. Low carbon plant including Solar PV and heat pump.


Christ Church Cathedral

CBG Consultants were appointed by Christ Church, for the phased renovation of the Cathedral in 2017.

Dating from the 12th Century, the Grade I Listed Cathedral was last rewired in the mid 1990s. A proposed project to clean and restore the high level building fabric gave the opportunity to renew electrical distribution and the lighting installation, which had become dated.

We worked closely with the Cathedral’s nominated lighting designer, and Purcell Architects, to develop the new electrical infrastructure proposals. This had to be installed over several phases of work whilst the Cathedral remained in use. Much of the servicing of the building is done using the high-level clerestory walkways. While these provide a convenient route, they also pose a risk to maintenance personnel, with access available only with safety harnesses to two people at a time. We developed a scheme to minimise the need to access these walkways, by locating the drivers and power supplies for the lighting system in central locations away from the clerestories. These are more likely to require future maintenance than the light fittings themselves.

We designed a new central battery emergency lighting system, bringing the building up to compliance with current regulations. Night time validation was undertaken to record delivered illuminance levels.

Phases 1 and 2 of the project are now complete, with the design of Phases 3 and 4 due to start later in 2019.

Pye Gallery, Banbury Museum

Located in the heart of Banbury’s town centre, next to the idyllic canal side, and opposite Tooley’s historic boatyard.

The museum’s committee were determined to renovate the dated gallery and surrounding areas within the museum. The lighting within the Pye Gallery was redesigned to allow for a minimalist yet effective look, using various methods to light the artwork.

Library Refurbishment, University of Warwick

CBG worked with the University of Warwick on the phased refurbishment of their central campus library.

The building dates from the 1960s, and the facilities had become dated. Each floor was reorganised, with new rolling rack shelving, desks, break-out areas and ICT. CBG worked to develop new M&E services designs to support the layouts, with improved lighting, ventilation and controls. The existing ceiling and slab heights posed a considerable constraint.

The project brief and design was developed to enable a phased refurbishment of the building, with one floor taken out of use during each summer period. The other floors of the library had to remain in use, with disruption to power or ventilation systems kept to defined out of hours periods.

Photographer: Overbury PLC


Norris Museum, Cambridgeshire

CBG worked with Caroe Architecture on the Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment and extension of the Norris Museum at St Ives.

The new facilities include a specialist archive store, flexible exhibition space, permanent display areas, an educational facility and new toilets. CBG completed the initial HLF Round 1 feasibility report and strategy, and were delighted to be subsequently selected to progress the Development phase of works.

Lighting has been designed to provide a contemporary and minimalist look, which works well with the historic building. An exception was made in the Herbert Norris replica study, where several of the original glass pendant lights from the old gallery were restored and re-used, to great effect. Within the temporary exhibition space, suspended track is used. This allows lighting to be easily adjusted when exhibits change. Daylight is managed to prevent over exposure of sensitive materials. Other electrical services such as small power are discreetly located, and coordinated with the extensive timber panelling.

Environmental control is provided using a relatively simple heating system, combined with dehumidification units. This keeps the running costs for the system down, whilst providing a stable environment for the artefacts.

Kings Lynn Minster

CBG completed the M&E scope of works for a Heritage Lottery Fund Round 1 application by Kings Lynn Minster.

We are delighted to see the scheme proceed to the next stage, for its HLF Round 2 submission. Working as part of a team led by Caroe Architects. The building is Grade I Listed, dating from the 13th Century, with origins back to 1095.

The new project involves constructing a new set of internal spaces within the north west tower. These will provide new toilets, an office and meeting room. A new open plan foyer will be included on the ground floor, with lighting to display temporary artwork.


Student Hub, Kellogg College, University of Oxford

CBG were appointed as M&E and Passivhaus consultants for the new £1.5m Kellogg College student hub building, which has become the first certified Passivhaus for Oxford University, or an Oxford college.

Highlighting the potential for an alternative approach to sustainability and with a few simple changes to the building form, CBG proposed that the building could be suitable for achieving the Passivhaus standard – delivering ultra-low running costs, carbon emissions and high comfort levels for occupants. As well as the usual Passivhaus features – super-thick insulation, triple glazing and air tight construction, the building features a highly glazed south façade. Detailed modelling enabled optimisation of window geometry and brise soleil design to maximise winter solar harvesting, while minimising summer overheating. The building is predicted to exceed the Passivhaus requirements for space heating demand, with a significant proportion of the building’s heat requirement being met by solar gains through the optimised south façade. Summertime overheating is controlled by solar shading, natural ventilation coupled with thermal mass, and night purge.

Lighting is carefully integrated into the internal spaces to enhance the architecture. The external frieze is subtly lit, with low level path lighting to create an attractive ambience.

Photography: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford

Designed to accommodate the launch of a new Masters of Fine Art Programme and to give a more public face to the school, the new building delivers facilities worthy of The Ruskin School of Art’s reputation as one of the leading art schools in the UK.

The Ruskin School of Art is divided between two sites, approximately 1 mile apart: a listed building on the High Street and a light-industrial building at Bullingdon Road, which houses the workshops and the main sculpture, printmaking and digital multimedia facilities.

Clever use of a difficult site has enabled the school to double in size to 1,600m², allowing them to accommodate more students whilst also providing them with the facilities to actively host their own public exhibitions and performances. The building includes offices, exhibition space, multimedia studios, metal and wood workshops, print and casting rooms and a seminar room.

CBG provided the energy and environmental building services strategy for the new building. This consisted of highly sustainable M&E services design for achieving BREEAM Very Good, as well as Oxford University stringent environmental targets.

High levels of insulation, low air tightness, efficient and controllable lighting, heat recovery ventilation and renewable technology have been used in this facility, designed to be extremely flexible and adaptable to suit ever changing student needs.

BREEAM Very Good
Winner RIBA South Awards 2016
Shortlisted in the RICS 2016 Awards ‘Design Through Innovation’ category

GreenSquare Development, Oxford

The GreenSquare Development has mechanical and electrical performance design for 109 new homes, community centres and retail units at Westlands Drive, Dora Carr Close and Barns Road in Oxford.

This multi-million pound development started from the premise that everybody has the right to live in a thoughtfully designed home and that high quality public spaces are crucial to maintaining successful communities. The company behind the development, Hab Oakus includes Kevin McCloud, presenter of the long-running TV series Grand Designs.

CBG prepared a low and zero carbon strategy report which considered district heating systems and other forms of renewable energy such as photovoltaic. The homes were designed to meet Code 4/5 and the community centre achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Standard.

BREEAM Excellent

Winner – Oxford Preservation Trust 2017
Shortlisted – Civic Trust Awards 2018