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Featured Project

Beeches Farm

Our project for Noble Foods had a dual purpose: to provide a new office space for their family office and for commercial tenants, creating a rural commercial centre. We were able to achieve a 31% overall embodied carbon reduction, placing the scheme 29% below the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge benchmark.

The client's commitment to sustainability was a central theme. The building features a timber structure which contributes to reducing the overall embodied carbon. Our scope extended to conducting an embodied carbon assessment to assess further improvements.

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As part of the embodied carbon study we explored ways to reduce the embodied carbon of the building. Having realised that the main contributor to emissions was the refrigerant in the cooling system, a critical element of our sustainability strategy was the transition to environmentally friendly refrigerants for both heating and cooling. This transition, alongside our recommendation to reduce the amount of refrigerant, significantly improved the project's sustainability performance while meeting the client's requirements. We also opted for a reclaimed floor rather than recommending brand new flooring, which also allowed for significant carbon savings.

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The office space was divided into two distinct sections. Lettable offices prioritized natural ventilation and basic electric panel heating. The other section, designated as a family office, required cooling solutions. We introduced innovative features like single Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems for efficient heating and cooling.

To meet the client's brief, we also recommended replacing heat pumps to the lettable spaces with direct electrical heating, providing increased flexibility for office layouts, to accommodate changes in tenants’ requirements.

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We also incorporated photovoltaic panels into the design, generating clean energy and enabling owners to sell surplus energy to tenants, fostering a zero-carbon environment.

The project's location within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty presented a distinct challenge, necessitating meticulous attention to external lighting design and control. The result was a subtle external lighting scheme, minimizing nighttime environmental impact.

Our embodied carbon assessment, a cornerstone of our sustainability approach, extended its impact beyond emissions regulation, supporting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles for our client.

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Being involved in the creative process from the very start, we were able to influence the final design based on our embodied carbon study, delivering outstanding results for the client. This project stands as an example of how often-overlooked factors, such as refrigerants, can profoundly impact a project's sustainability performance, all while maintaining the focus on client requirements.

Project Details

  • Project

    Beeches Farm
  • Location

    Tring, UK
  • Sector

  • Client

    Noble Foods
  • Architect

    Gollifer Langstone Architects
  • Status

    Ongoing