Loudoun Square, Cardiff, UK

About the building

Loudoun Square healthcare facility is part of larger regeneration development to the Butetown area of Cardiff. The development has been located on previously developed land and will act as community focal point by also providing a community hub.  The hub provides a communal space that allows access to the health centre, pharmacy, community space and the enterprise units.

The client drove the sustainable elements of the scheme from the outset, ensuring the BREEAM Excellent was the objective. Understanding the value of good design and construction, rather than solely concentrating on initial costs was a critical part of the brief.

Key facts

  • BREEAM rating: Excellent
  • Score: 72.67%
  • Size: 1700m²
  • Stage: Design and Procurement
  • BREEAM Version: Healthcare 2008

Further information

Overview of environmental features

Rather than simply implementing costly elements that improved the BREEAM score, but little else, the team and client applied themselves to attain all the optimum credits for the site in Ecology and Management. The design of Loudoun Square includes a number of sustainable features which form part of the design development. These include:

  • Biomass boiler
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Water leak detection system
  • Water efficient sanitary ware
  • Good transport facilities
  • Exemplary levels achieved under the Considerate Constructor Scheme
  • Waste levels in excess of best practice

The BREEAM assessment

The building obtained full marks in the Water and Waste sections of BREEAM and performed well in Management, Transport and Materials. With an urban location providing good transport links via local bus services and a frequently used train station, the design team were able enhance this by providing cycling facilities in excess of basic requirements.

The use of efficient sanitary ware and a rainwater harvesting systems enhanced the already efficient water system to score maximum credits within the BREEAM assessment.

Both the client and the site team were able to collaborate on many of the management issues allowing for minimal environmental impact during both construction and post-construction stages.

Building services

The services design reviewed the use of a CHP system utilised over the larger development allowing for minimal loss of excess heat, but the efficiency of this was not felt to be the optimum way forward and so this was maximised by providing an under-floor heating system that will utilise the thermal mass of the building. This system also allows for a 24% reduction in CO₂ emissions.

A rainwater harvesting systems has also been incorporated which will meet the WC flushing demand for the building, improving the overall water usage per person and reducing the water run-off from site which may increase the risk of flooding to neighbouring buildings.

High frequency ballasts have been installed on all compact fluorescent and fluorescent lights and internal & external lighting levels have been designed in accordance with the CIBSE code for lighting.

Green strategy

This landmark development in an urban location provided the opportunity to promote the green agenda improve the community links. Green features utilised include:

  • Combined heat and power system fuelled by locally sourced biomass
  • A 24% reduction in CO₂ emissions due to low/zero carbon technologies
  • Low carbon transport links have been encouraged with increased cycling facilities and the site location.
  • Sub-metering of major energy consuming uses has been incorporated, allowing for future connection to a BMS system
  • Materials have been selected using the Green Guide to Specification
  • The site previously offered no ecological value and therefore provided an opportunity for the design team to improve of the local natural environment.

Project team details

  • Client: Cardiff Community Housing Association
  • Architect: Austin Smith Lord
  • Contractor: Leadbitter Group
  • Building Services Engineers: SABA Consult
  • Structural Engineers: Bingham Hall Partnership Ltd
  • Employers Agent: Davis Langdon
  • BREEAM Assessor: GB SPM Ltd

Gordon Brown, Lead BREEAM Co-ordinator, said:

“To end up with a scheme that has attained the first BREEAM Excellent in Wales is a reflection on the hard work and input of the whole team. The buy-in and understanding of the team on how to attain an Excellent score  for a minimal impact on cost shows the way forward to others in Wales and the UK.”

Loudoun Sq Long


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