Portland Place is a high specification low energy development built on a town centre brownfield site to provide modern open plan accommodation. The building is timber frame, with the front facade being brick slip clad to match the Victorian street. The 3 storey timber frame structure was built over a full size basement to provide two, three bedroom apartments with a shared heating and hot water system.

The apartments were designed to produce minimal carbon emissions - so passivhaus levels of airtightness, minimal cold bridging and winter solar gain through the triple glazed windows. These design details were incorporated with low carbon energy for heating and hot water – solar thermal in conjunction with a wood pellet boiler for the winter.

The shared heating system features a 1000 litre thermal store heated initially by the large 8 panel solar thermal array, backed up by a wood pellet Ökofen boiler with auto feed auger so providing an automated system with very low carbon emissions. For summer when hot water is provided by solar there are minimal associated carbon emissions. In winter wood pellets will be used which provide a 93% saving on carbon emissions over gas and are produced in the UK supporting our industry.

Since the building meets the passivhaus scheme in terms of energy loss, there is a 90% energy saving present for internal heating, along with the remaining 10% being delivered in a low carbon manner. Compared to a conventional house with a gas boiler, we have achieved: 

96% reduction in CO2 for hot water provision

99% on heating.

The apartments have their own PAUL Heat Recovery Ventilation Units to provide continuous fresh air which have an integrated heater battery supplied by the thermal store to provide heating if required during a winter cold snap.

Another important feature is low energy lighting throughout, featuring predominately LED fittings, reducing electricity demand by 90% when compared with conventional lighting. These lights also create a modern feel, offering many options for lighting the space.

  • Hot water supplied by: solar and wood pellets charge the thermal store
  • Heating supplied by: HRV with heater battery
  • Running Costs: Near zero for summer, estimate £200 for winter
  • Carbon emissions saving cf gas: 98% reduction.

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