Land Use Consultants - Cassiobury Park Visitor Centre energy strategy advice

Cassiobury Park is the largest public open space in Watford comprising over 190 acres of green space stretching from Watford town centre to woodland and countryside to the west of the town. Watford Borough Council was undertaking large-scale regeneration of the park, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The works were to include the development of a new park 'hub' building, including catering facilities, a park rangers' office, changing facilities, toilets, a visitor centre and an education/ community room, alongside the modernisation of an existing Victorian building that houses a café.

The council was also keen to consider options for the provision of renewable energy through the installation of a micro-hydro turbine in a former water mill.

We were commissioned by Land Use Consultants (LUC) to develop the energy strategy for the new hub building, cha-cha-cha café, and to explore the feasibility of a micro-hydro turbine.

The energy strategy services we provided included:

  • Passive low-energy concept design.
  • Low and zero-carbon energy options appraisal.
  • Development of the energy statement for planning.
  • Energy and compliance modelling.
  • Financial appraisal of renewable options.

Key features of the new hub building - as a result of our energy strategy services - included:

  • Optimisation of the building form, glazing areas and orientation to maximise passive solar gain for daylighting, reduce winter heating loads and promote natural ventilation.
  • Thermally efficient building fabric design to minimise heat loss and air leakage.
  • Use of innovative external shading devices including large roof overhangs and sliding Corten steel panels.
  • Low-maintenance, low-cost and low-carbon heating systems based on underfloor space heating supplied from air source heat pumps working in combination with roof-integrated solar thermal hot water.
  • Low-energy lighting strategy based around LED technology.
  • 75m2 roof-mounted photovoltaic array.

View a video about this case study here.

Total carbon emissions of the development are predicted to be half the emissions of a similar building built to the 2013 building regulation standards.

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