This proposed residential development in Knightsbridge, London aspires to provide the most luxurious accommodation in the area. Located in a conservation area with a retained façade, multiple basement levels and six levels of apartments above ground, the development presented many challenges for the team.
The scheme has high energy and sustainability ambitions and is currently targeting Code for Sustainable Home Level 3 which given the nature of the site, building form and constraints of being within a conservation area is a good benchmark.
The following key strategies have been embedded into the design development to reduce the carbon impact of the scheme.
Passive design has been prioritised. The building envelope will have low U-values and high levels of air tightness to significantly lower energy loads.
Solar control will be achieved through glazing specifications thereby reducing summertime solar gains through the façade while maintaining the conservation character of the site surroundings.
Air source heat pumps are proposed as a low-carbon technology to provide space heating to the residential accommodation.
Use of energy efficient lighting with presence detection sensors has been incorporated in the design of the communal areas to reduce energy consumption.
The building is heated via air source heat pumps which provide low-grade heat to the underfloor heating circuits within the apartments. A gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) unit will supply heat to the domestic hot water cylinder. High efficiency gas condensing fired boilers will be provided for use when the heat pumps are down for maintenance or when the external conditions are such the heat pumps would not operate as efficiently as a gas boiler. The gas boilers will also act as top-up and back-up to the CHP unit serving the domestic hot water system.
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) cooling systems will provide the cooling in the apartments and some landlord’s areas. The majority of apartments will be served by a central air handling unit providing controlled background ventilation.
The building is served by a stored and boosted water service, grey water (reclaimed) and potable (boosted cold water). The reclaimed water is used for flushing WC’s and irrigation.
The architect and developers desire to integrate services distribution and equipment into furniture and false walls to maximise floor to ceiling heights has required a high degree of coordination within the design team which will make this scheme a prime residential development in London.