River House is a new build private house situated on the banks of the Thames in South Oxfordshire.
Replacing the existing 1970s bungalow with a three-storey building that included five bedrooms, an open-plan living area and a swimming pool. The client’s brief was to have a modern dwelling with a strong environmental focus of which it had to meet the Code of Sustainable Homes Level 4 standard.
CBG Consultants were appointed to undertake the mechanical and electrical design works and modelling of the building to optimise orientation, glazing, energy strategy and energy predictions.
Several elements that were incorporated in the very low energy strategy design of the house included:
Bullmarsh Close is a development of three new build residential 2-bedroom bungalows set in the pleasant grounds of Middleton Stoney Village. The development was commissioned by Cherwell District Council to provide high quality affordable housing.
The development is built to a very high standard with Passivhaus principles. The initial design phase and Energy Statement highlighted the opportunities afforded by a low energy philosophy and the team identified the advantages of the Passivhaus Low Energy Building Standard. This standard aims to achieve much of the full Passivhaus accreditation standards, without significant concerns over the additional expertise needed for construction professionals that are very important for a full certification.
The lessons learnt from the scheme are that Passivhaus is a very strict methodology, and many professionals are still learning the software and system which highlights our level of proficiency within the industry in comparison to some other (perhaps smaller) consultancies and architects. Similarly, the level of M&E design detail and information is much more involved and precise.
The Passivhaus solution has provided a highly insulated and airtight building allowing the use of electric radiators and MVHR ventilation to achieve a very simple and low energy use building. The hot water is provided by air source heat pump renewable energy to provide a low carbon domestic hot water source.
The overall scheme and resulting project are great to see and the quality is evident from visiting site.
For the past 15 years, Network Homes have undertaken the refurbishment and regeneration of the Stockwell Park Estate as part of their commitment following the successful transfer from Lambeth Council.
Located near the recently completed Civic Trust award-winning Stockwell Hall of Fame scheme, Tyler House is one of the last buildings to undergo improvement work. The project comprised of the refurbishment and vertical extension of an existing 1950’s built, 48 dwelling development.
CBG were involved in the M&E design of the refurbishment works for the existing 3 floors and designing the M&E requirements for the 2 new floors.
The project commenced with intrusive surveys of the existing infrastructure and distribution of services, specifically gas water and electricity, and re-designing a more efficient and compliant strategy to allow individual metering with minimal impact on the occupation as some of the flats were occupied during the works. CBG designed enough capacity for the extra 2 floors that were being built above the current 3 storey building, providing a design that safely maintained the provision of power, water and gas to the occupied premises whilst serving the new build upper floors was a priority.
Significant challenges were successfully overcome at an early stage in relation to the safe relocation of some leaseholders and residents, who were engaged by the design team as stakeholders through a series of tenant consultation meetings. Re-design of the internal areas meant the management of mobilisation and transitional arrangements for some occupants whilst others were able to remain in their flats.
Following appointment of the successful tenderer, CBG were retained by them to carry out the developed design in BIM Level 2 (to RIBA Stage 4C) and the construction stage services for the project, working closely with the contractor and rest of the design team.
Working with TateHindle and East Suffolk Council, our brief was to develop options for a highly sustainable development designed to Zero Carbon and Passivhaus standards to provide much needed affordable housing.
The proposed scope of work is to demolish the existing school and provide 61 new build dwellings. These dwellings will be a mixture of apartments and houses spread across a number of blocks, the homes would be eco-friendly, energy efficient with reduced running costs to address the issue of fuel poverty and help towards climate change targets. The school’s existing hall will be retained as an amenity space.
Principles of energy conservation were considered right from the start of the design process. This meant that the massing of the dwellings could be influenced to minimise the exposed surface area of external walls and roofs.
The dwellings will be fully electric, with no gas connection meaning they can operate without the use of fossil fuel. Heating to the larger homes will be delivered using air source heat pumps, for smaller dwellings the heat loss will be reduced to the point where direct electric heating can be operated with suitably low running costs.
To minimise the winter heat losses, the dwellings have been designed to be extremely airtight with continuous insulation. A potential drawback of this is the increased risk of summertime overheating. To address this risk, extensive dynamic modelling was completed which resulted in windows being provided with carefully sized shading devices designed to welcome useful winter sun and exclude excessive solar gains in heat waves.
As per the Passivhaus methodology, the intention is to use mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, so the air leaving the dwellings gives up its heat to the incoming fresh air.
Collaborating with potential service users – including those experiencing homelessness – the building had been designed as a calm and functional environment, with a provision for dogs and a mix of different spaces including private space.
Floyds Row will provide assessment services and shelter for up to 60 people experiencing homelessness or at risk of rough sleeping. 20 spaces will be temporary shelter of up to a week for people whose needs are being assessed, with another 20 beds reserved for people who have been assessed and are engaging with services to find suitable move on accommodation. The remaining beds will be winterlong emergency accommodation available to anyone experiencing homelessness.
In addition to the range of accommodation, the building offers washing facilities, kitchens, treatment rooms, and intensive support to help people move on from a life on the streets.
CBG designed all mechanical and electrical services for the new facility, ranging from boiler replacement, hot and cold water, power, lighting, fire alarm, security, and brand new purpose-built ventilation system.
The project was completed and opened just two months before the pandemic struck, and had to be temporarily re-purposed as a triage centre because residents could not isolate safely in the building.
His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visited the completed project in May 2021 and heard how the council had forged new partnerships to provide COVID-safe accommodation in hotels and student rooms, and how Floyds Row was and continues to be an integral part of the recovery from the pandemic.
Images supplied by Jessop and Cook & Cyrus Mower Photography
Castlemaine House, St James’s Place, London
CBG Consultants provided consultancy services for several projects at Castlemaine House, a boutique 1950s apartment block overlooking Green Park.
The initial project was the refurbishment of the duplex penthouse apartment. This included renewal of mechanical and electrical installations, and installation of new air conditioning. The apartment is rented out to international tenants, so the M&E services were carefully designed with future flexibility in mind.
Our involvement in the building led to several follow-on projects, both within some of the apartments, and upgrades to the landlord infrastructure. These included renewal of the central water distribution system with provision of a new boosted main, replacement of the original electrical rising busbar system, and upgrades to main plant.
The landlord upgrade works included consultations with the leaseholders, requiring sensitive presentation of our technical proposals to gain the trust and cooperation of them.
CBG were engaged early in the project’s inception for a new high specification residential dwelling with a keen architectural focus and excellent energy performance.
CBG attended design team meetings with the architect and client to obtain a clear brief with desires and aspirations from the client regarding their new home. It provided an excellent opportunity to engage with the client and set clear goals. It also paved the way for more accurate preliminary design options and proposals that could be discussed with the client and the team.
The project involved challenges due to the remote location of the site and analyses were completed comparing the advantages and disadvantages for remote gas and water supplies versus mains network suppliers. The design focused on high thermal insulation performance to reduce loads and allowed for a very small gas boiler plant requirement. Thermal performance is further bolstered by adoption of underfloor heating for low flow and return temperatures and improved boiler efficiencies. Underfloor heating also contributes to excellent thermal comfort and suits the thermal mass of the building. Ventilation is provided via 2 MVHR systems for optimal efficiency and thermal modelling was carried out to influence and guide all design decisions and clarify future performance metrics. Low-e glazing was specified to mitigate solar gains and opening windows allow for summertime natural ventilation.
Low energy LED lighting rounds out the simple and efficient M&E design philosophy. The avoidance of high cost complex systems makes for an easy to use, low maintenance and very economical solution. M&E space requirements are minimised increasing usable space. A focus on good daylighting and excellent performance minimises loads reducing running costs.
The result is a modern high quality, highly efficient, low maintenance, low running cost, high end residential property.
Restaurant & Apartments Conversion, Lincoln College
CBG Consultants were delighted to deliver this prestigious development for Lincoln College on Oxford High Street.
The project involved the conversion of a Grade II Listed former bank dating from 1866, into a new restaurant and upmarket apartments. The team were keen to restore and retain period features, such as an original ceiling discovered in the banking hall that was previously concealed. Bespoke M&E services strategies were developed to maximise the historic appeal of the spaces.
New services were provided throughout, including construction of a new lift. We designed the shell and core scheme and acted as technical advisors for Lincoln College, to review the proposed restaurant fitout by The Ivy. We worked closely with their fitout team to ensure mechanical and electrical services strategies were developed that would work within the confines of the site and defined tenant demises. Control of odours from cooking was a particular concern, with a scheme to mitigate these. The location of plant near to residential units required close scrutiny of acoustic performance also. Future maintenance and plant replacement strategies were developed and included within the Agreement for Lease.
Full design was undertaken for the apartments, with lighting, electrical services and air conditioning developed to a high standard specification. The residential development includes a new feature stair with bespoke suspended lighting, which links to the existing Alfred Street apartments.
Oxford Preservation Trust 2020, Building Conservation Category – Certificate
Queen Street and St Aldate’s, Oxford – Student Accommodation
The project included the construction of over 130 en-suite student bedrooms, overlooking the historic Carfax Tower in the centre of Oxford. Bedrooms are grouped into clusters, with communal kitchen/diners. Other facilities include a gym, cinema, and social spaces.
The five storey building was constructed on a constrained site, with the original façade of the St Aldates elevation retained. In addition to the student accommodation, the ground floor incorporates three large retail units with street frontages.
The student accommodation is partly managed by Christ Church, with the remainder directly let on the market. Services and circulation routes are zoned accordingly.
2018 Oxford Preservation Trust Winner
University for the Creative Arts, Farnham
The new student residences were built on the current Farnham campus and provides accommodation for 252 students in typical cluster flat arrangements. The typical cluster bedrooms have been designed as groups of four, six or eight and housed within five buildings across the steeply sloped site.
Rather than follow a prescribed sustainability agenda such as BREEAM, CBG worked closely with the University to develop a bespoke sustainability policy that should maximise the benefits of low energy design and a low cost in use.
CBG Consultants developed a centralised energy strategy that included a combined heat and power unit and new infrastructure throughout the whole development.
Images – Fusion and Pascall + Watson