Residential Block: Grange Park Road, London 2010

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Grange Park Rd was designed using the Passivhaus method for apartment development more commonly prevalent in Austria and Germany than in England.
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When the client, was offered a funding opportunity to develop mixed tenure housing, it was decided to use this chance to provide exemplary, affordable housing, built to the highest standard of sustainable construction.
 
The site is situated within a Conservation Area with a Grade II listed building on the adjacent site has recently been converted for residential use.


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The primary design objectives were:
 
  • to develop a sustainable and healthy affordable housing scheme to meet Code 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Passivhaus standard (to offer an optimum balance of performance and affordability).
  • to achieve a contemporary interpretation of local urban block structure respectful of its residential context in terms of scale and massing, and attractive to ‘down-sizing’ tenants.
  • to provide highly efficient units throughout, to be fully accessible in accordance with Lifetime Homes Standards. 

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To meet the stringent Passivhaus standard it is required to achieve exceptional levels of air tightness with the air permeability target as low as 0.3 cbm/sqm/h. This, together with high levels of insulation, high performance windows and doors, thermal bridge free detailing with the use of a more than 90% efficient mechanical ventilation system aims to reduce the overall heating demand to a minimum so that a traditional heating system was not required. Domestic hot water is provided through heat re-claim taken from the mechanical systems.
 
Achieving the Passivhaus standards is only possible through developing an intensive air tightness strategy with concommitant detailing.  Purely through passive design elements this project will use approximately 90% less heating energy when compared to a standard UK building (when built to current Building Regulation requirements).

Put otherways Grange Park Road could be heated by 15 kWh of thermal energy per sqm per year, or 60p per sqm per year (based on a price for heating oil of 40p a litre), making it truly affordable for its future tenants without compromising on comfort or indoor air quality.