This Victorian end-of-terrace home, which is part of the Forest Gate private finance initiative (PFI) scheme, is situated on Boleyn Road in the London Borough of Newham. Built around 1890-1900 and originally consisting of two separate flats, the property has been de-converted into one house. The occupier has mobility needs and the design of the building reflects this.
The building underwent BREEAM certification to help BRE Global develop the new scheme and also as part of the overall aim of achieving 80% carbon dioxide emission reductions by 2050, in line with the Climate Change Act (2008). The target was a BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment rating of Excellent under the pilot 2010 BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment scheme. The local authority also wanted to prevent the dwelling from falling into fuel poverty by improving thermal insulation and installing low and zero carbon technologies, as Newham has one of the highest incidences of fuel poverty in the UK.
The building's key environmental features include:
The building performed well across most BREEAM categories, gaining the maximum number of credits in the Water, Waste, Management and Ecology categories and scoring highly in Energy, Materials and Health & Wellbeing.
The design aimed to ensure that summer heating and hot water is provided solely by the solar thermal panels. In the winter a micro gas-fired CHP unit provides heating and hot water, as well as generating electricity for lighting and appliances.
A mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system is used to ventilate the property.
The construction process was carefully managed to minimise waste. More than 90% of waste was diverted from landfill as a result of the exemplary site waste management plan.
Energy efficient internal and external lighting, as well as the provision of a CHP unit and solar thermal panels, allowed the building to score highly in the Energy category improving from an EPC band G, to an EPC band A post refurbishment. Extensive insulation in the loft, walls and floor contributes to low CO2 emissions, as well as ensuring a high level of thermal comfort.
The specification of water efficient appliances, such as dual-flush WCs and low-flow taps, reduced the internal water use to the benchmark level.
The provision of recycling storage space (including composting) and a home user guide for the occupants enables the building to be operated in an environmentally friendly manner.
‘I am impressed by BREEAM Refurbishment’s holistic approach, as well as the transparency it brings to the process and the degree of cost certainty that it offers. BREEAM aims to integrate the actions required to achieve the target BREEAM rating into the normal design process, so that they add minimally to the workload and costs.’
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