Designed in 2007 when we were also designing our first Passive House buildings, this low energy building in the heart of London's Clerkenwell is at last under construction for the Debenham Property Trust. This new-build development consists of five appartments for rental, including a penthouse with spectacular views across London. It was a planning requirement to retain part of the facade. The flats are designed to provide high occupant comfort by cost-effective means, and it is a credit to the Trust that they have adopted some pioneering measures to provide comfort, health benefits and low energy bills for their future tenants at the same time as cost effectively delivering returns on the value of their investment - returns that they believe will make this building an increasingly valuable asset within their substantial portfolio.
The building contains some novel ideas to cost-effectively reduce cold bridging, including the use of Foamglas as compression blocks to tie the historic brick facade back to the steel frame. This building is also insulated throughout on external walls and party walls.
The historic facades will all benefit from triple-glazed sash windows made by the leading English craftsman window company, Mumford and Wood, and which have been developed in collaboration with bere:architects to achieve a higher level of quality and draught proofing than has previously been achieved by a traditional sash window. The window has been approved by Islington Planning Conservation officers and we believe that this forms a precedent and significant breakthrough for high performance windows in historic facades.
The penthouse apartment uses high quality Ambiwood Passive House windows from Ireland and is substantially insulated.
The building will be crowned by wild flower meadows on three levels designed by Dusty Gedge, and all the flats will have solar hot water heating.