Working with our long-term development client Aitch Group we helped deliver a large and complex mixed-use project in Hackney Wick.
Conceived initially as four separate developments designed by Hawkins/Brown, Buckley Gray Yeoman and HWO Architects, and complete in 2019, the project included 211 flats and homes, 6,300m2 of commercial space and public realm. But we wanted to know if we could create more value by treating them as a single site. By changing to a centralised energy centre, we found considerable space and construction cost savings for the investors.
Introducing the energy centre required more than just technical know-how, though. Collaboration with multiple architects, investors, subcontractors and utility companies was essential. We also worked closely with planning authorities to justify this new energy strategy. As only one site housed the plantroom, we supported sensitive negotiations to ensure all investors felt fairly treated, and could still sell sites individually.
Working closely with the design team, optioneering studies allowed us to explore the carbon, financial and practical aspects of various approaches achieving major cost savings.
We also built dynamic thermal models that pinpoint how to minimise building overheating through optimised facades, and used with our bespoke in-house natural ventilation tool that revealed opportunities for natural ventilation in the commercial areas.
We took advantage of 3D digital design which helped in many areas, for example, to clearly visualise the varying ground levels giving both the design team and contractors real assurance of the plans.
The project has been an overwhelming success and demonstrates the benefits of a collaboration approach to design.