The challenges of renovating an existing boiler house to create a new council housing development in Hackney

Couch Perry Wilkes (CPW) has been appointed as the main mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultant on a unique new council housing development in Hackney, which will see an old boiler house transformed to create sympathetic new housing for the area.

CPW were tasked to create a robust energy strategy for the development, which has already satisfied planning considerations and will meet The London Plan. This included a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions which was achieved through the inclusion of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity onsite, which will save over nine tonnes of CO2 each year and electric vehicle charging points.

As part of the project, CPW undertook enabling works to redesign the existing boiler house which currently supplies nearby council properties, this involved careful planning to redesign the boiler house, including new boiler flues and a controlled turn down of the existing heating system to ensure that reduced hot water supply to local residents was minimised whist the project timings were also unaffected.

The development, which will replace a tired old boiler house and create much needed genuinely affordable housing for the Borough of Hackney. It will comprise 26 units in total, half of which will be social rent and half of which will be offered as shared ownership. There will be a selection of one, two and three bedroom properties split between an eight story and three story building.

The building thermal envelope was 50-70% more efficient than the maximum allowable specification levels in building regulations. As part of the MEP design, a high efficiency heat recovery ventilation system to all occupied rooms, will ensure fresh air all year round in an energy efficient manner, whilst offering acoustic separation from the outside area. All lighting (internal and external) is LED with daylight linked and occupancy detection controls. A building-wide heat network design incorporates heat interface units to all apartments, ensuring accurate separate billing of hot water and heating using smart meters in accordance with Hackney Council’s design guide. There is also a rainwater capture system for irrigation purposes.

The sympathetic new development has been designed by architects Ash Sakula and includes new green spaces, which the surrounding housing stock will also benefit from.