Providing luxury apartments without compromising on sustainability
- Scheme & Version: BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment 2014
- Certification Stage: Design Stage
- Rating: Excellent
- Overall Score: 77.5%
- Developer / Client: Cadogan
- Architect: BLDA Architects
- Building Services: Desco (Design & Consultancy) Ltd
- Constructor: Quinn
- Assessor Company: MLM
- Project Manager: TTPP Construction Consultants
- Structural Engineers: MNP (Mason Navarro Pledge)
About the Building
The development is made up of 6 residential units. It is situated in Chelsea, as part of the 93 acre Cadogan Estate. Cadogan continually looks for opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of its developments, regardless of size, in the interest of the wider community’s long-term benefit.
Built in 1903 the original building comprised of two large family homes with staff areas. It was converted in 1934 to a three-storey 6-bedroom apartment on the lower floors with two-bedroom lateral apartments on the upper floors.
In 2015 Planning Permission was granted to convert the three-storey apartment on the lower floors into three separate apartments, a two-bedroom duplex at lower ground and ground floor, a studio at ground and two-bedroom lateral apartments at first to fourth floor level. The Planning Permission included moving the non-original stair from the front elevation to the rear elevation. A green roof alongside a terrace replaced the existing conservatory.
The Management section under BREEAM scored high. This was due to the high level of procedures in place during the construction period.
High level water fittings were included in the design to maximise water savings.
Why did the building undergo BREEAM certification?
The building underwent BREEAM certification to ensure sustainability standards were met.
New utility meters were installed to each apartment complete with ‘pulsed output’ to energy consumption display devices. The visual display devices allow occupants to monitor their own energy usage and encourages reduction of energy use. The space heating and hot water systems selected aid in the reduction of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) into the atmosphere by ensuring that the gas boiler emissions ratings shall not exceed 35mg/kWh NOx, when tested at 0% oxygen, below the BREAAM requirement (<40 mg/kWh). A mains powered, fully addressable fire alarm system was installed covering all landlord spaces and each apartment, the fire alarm system was designed and installed to be compliant with BS 5839, Part 6 to provide a category LD2 level of protection. Carbon Monoxide detectors have been installed, from the fire alarm system, to each apartment supplied with mains gas. The fire alarm system and carbon monoxide detectors will aid in reducing the risks to life, health and property resulting from fire and exposure to carbon monoxide.
Ecology measures such as a green roof, bird boxes and invertebrate habitats were included in the design. This is a high achievement in a built-up area and commitment from the client and team enabled this to happen. Existing materials were re-used and new materials were specified which achieved a high Green Guide Rating where possible. Existing timber floor joists and rafters were retained and sympathetically repaired and strengthened for re-use. Foundations and load bearing masonry walls were retained where possible, incorporated in the layout of the new apartments. Cracking in external facades was repaired using less invasive remedial bed-joint reinforcement to tie the masonry together and minimise the need for brickwork replacement.
Floor areas are reduced to incorporate insulation to the external facades. Secondary glazing is introduced to windows. Each apartment has been allocated with the necessary space and sufficient services (small power, data & telephone outlets) to be used as a ‘home office’.
Both external and internal lighting throughout the building were specified to be as energy efficient as possible whilst maintaining suitability for the domestic environment (replaceable GU10 lamps, mains dimming) and the high overall level of finish for the project. LED lamps were installed throughout and a large proportion of luminaires are dimmable to further reduce their energy output. Presence detection was utilised throughout the communal areas to minimise energy wasted by lighting remaining on in unoccupied areas.
As it was a refurbishment, there were limited spaces to work with, however BREEAM encouraged measures to make better use of the space e.g. home office areas. Energy efficiency of the building was a challenge due to limitations of refurbishment. BREEAM helped to overcome this by providing advice on energy and water monitoring systems, as well as compliant materials. Obtaining pulsed output meters from the statutory authorities and energy suppliers was somewhat more challenging than would normally be expected. The water authority does not currently offer a pulsed output meter as standard. This was overcome by way of specifying an additional check meter after the statutory authority meter to be used exclusively by the building occupiers.
Benefits of assessing to BREEAM
Esther Anna van de Gejin, Associate Director at BLDA Architects says;
The benefits of BREEAM certification include re-using, recycling and reducing, creating a more comfortable environment for residents with better controlled temperatures, lower running costs and reduced noise from traffic. Changing two large family homes into six apartments also contributes to making an existing building more sustainable for the future.