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Strategic initiative
cluster dedicated to
mainstream sustainable
building practices across
north west Europe

Regain Incubator East Kilbridge

East Kilbridge, SCT

The ETC test centre for renewable energies demonstrates its own dramatically improved energy efficiency. Biomass heating and comprehensive insulation head an inventory of advances in energy systems.

The centre
The Energy Technology Centre is a facility capable of testing and demonstrating low carbon technologies and sub-systems. It comprises engineering laboratories, a research centre, workshops and an apprentice training school. The building itself was far from sustainable, with a very high CO2 rating and extremely poor energy efficiency.

Carbon footprint reduction
A significant reduction in the carbon footprint has been effected with technologies including roof insulation, cladding on external doors and a new multi-fuel (avoiding fossil fuels) biomass boiler. Many other energy system measures complement the new boiler: wind and PV power, grey water capture and energy monitoring all now in place.

Showcase of technologies
The ETC can support alternative fuels, solar and PV technologies and test the durability of components. With the knowledge gained, the ETC develops education and practical training. Now, the building itself provides a physical showcase of the environment provided within to assess how energy technologies and low carbon building would work in practice.

Year of delivery


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commercial building

Info centre

Accrington Eco Station

Lancashire, UK

It sets the standard, built with stone reclaimed locally, and using rain for toilet flushing while the sun via PV cells provides 50% of the building’s energy. A resource centre spreads the word.

Updating the station
The original station opened in 1948 and became a major junction. By the twenty-first century, however, it suffered from constrained site area, low-quality buildings and poor links to the town centre. A replacement station building on the opposite platform now provides a high-quality gateway into Accrington.

Environmentally friendly transport
The new station improves links to the centre while promoting greater use of public transport in general. It also encourages cycling as an option through the provision of extensive cycle parking facilities. These have been incorporated into the local bikeway.

Sustainable materials
The new building achieves a BREEAM green-assessment rating of Excellent through active and passive design. All materials have been chosen for recycled content, low embodied energy values and where possible to be recyclable at end of life. A large proportion of the building and landscaping material is locally reclaimed sandstone.

Resource centre
The station also houses a learning resource centre. It emphasises an appreciation of the importance of energy- and resource-saving behaviour in day-to-day life. The use of public transport as an environment-friendly choice is also encouraged.

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Regain Incubator Douvrin

Douvrin, FR

The bioclimatic concept presents solar-preheated ventilation in the workshops, heat recovery in the offices and more. Solar panels spanning 500m2 produce three times the energy the building needs.

The bioclimatic concept presents solar-preheated ventilation in the workshops, heat recovery in the offices and more. Solar panels spanning 500m2 produce three times the energy the building needs.

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commercial building

Info centre

Huis De Witte Roos

Delft, NL

This listed 16th-century building now integrates a Smart Building System as well as solar energy, natural water source and renewable material innovations for a predicted 82% reduction in CO2 produced.

Favourable location
In the historic city of Delft, this listed 16th-century building, is a five-minute walk from the railway station.

A sustainable future
The main themes of the White Rose are sustainable renovation and the preservation of heritage. Renewable materials, natural water sources and architectural possibilities have been optimised giving a beautiful old building the chance of a sustainable future. Heating/cooling/ventilation improvements, due to a smart building system, and solar energy (active and passive) have also been added to the mix of sustainable technologies.

Up-to-date innovation
The heating, cooling and ventilation combination was improved on for efficiency more than anticipated when new technologies became available during the renovation process. The level of ambition was then revised and increased. The same happened with solar energy (active and passive), which could be brought into the plans during the works due to the emergence of new possibilities.

Reducing emissions
At the White Rose, the aim was to reduce CO2 emissions not according to set standards, but fully as much as possible. An 82% reduction in CO2 emissions is the predicted result at the same time as the architectural possibilities of the building having been maximised.

A geothermal heat pump gains energy from a groundwater source in a closed system. The heat pump is combined with a boiler vessel that provides heat storage, the vessel fed by solar thermal panels. PV panels integrated in a glass roof construction supply the system with the necessary additional electricity. A wall and floor heating system provides heat to the rooms and is integrated with the historical wall and floor covering. The mechanical ventilation and the air heating and cooling system make use of the solar heat recovered from two glasshouses and reuse heat from ventilation air via a heat exchanger. A historical rainwater cistern has been restored and rainwater is used for flushing the toilets, cleaning and watering the garden.

Year of delivery
2013 (partly)

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heritage building

Info centre

National Trust, Stable Yard, Morden Hall Park

London, UK

A multiplicity of technical installations spans photovoltaic solar and thermal panels, an Archimedes screw turbine and six types of insulation while historical makeup of this former stable yard is retained.

Architecture and energy
The National Trust’s strategy is to reduce its energy use. In the Morden Hall Park stable yard, an extremely energy-efficient building able to generate its own electricity from many different renewable energy sources has been realised. Architectural integrity had to be maintained, and interference in the historical character of the building minimised while a number of new technologies and materials were introduced.

Transferable methods
The stable yard building is an ideal demonstration project because its construction is typical of the rows of Victorian houses often found in South London. The works undertaken in the stable yard, therefore, are easily transferable to visitors’ homes and businesses. Natural slate roof coverings, for instance, are typical of the period. At the centre, solar slates that look like slate roof tiles are used.

Energy efficiency
A multiplicity of technical installations can be found now in the Morden Hall Park stable yard building. Adding substantially to the solar slates are photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and photovoltaic thermal (PVT) panels, with a combined capacity of 4,900 kWh per year. An air-source heat pump and a wood-burning stove create heat. This is combined with six types of insulation and an airtight membrane. The result is a building that is exceptionally energy efficient.

Water, energy and sustainability
Water and the policies to manage it are very important to the stable yard project. Rainwater harvesting tanks are utilised in harness with water-saving devices such as waterless urinals. There is also one very innovative WC that has a hand basin in the cistern to reuse waste water from hand washing for toilet flushing. Perhaps most effective of all the many measures is a renewable hugely increasing potential energy creation: London’s first Archimedes' screw hydroelectric turbine.

Date of delivery
November 2011

Lessons learned
The building is in a heritage listed park and conservation area so plans needed to be sympathetic  



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heritage building