The project saw the refurbishment of two existing 18th century student accommodation villas, alongside the conversion of an additional villa from a private residence to student accommodation. It delivered student bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, gyp rooms and break out areas. One of the villas is recognised within the Cambridge City Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal as being a Building of Local Interest (BLI), whilst the other two are documented as being ‘Positive Unlisted Buildings’. As such, the scheme saw a high level of interest from planners and heritage consultants, and we treated the buildings as if they had Listed status.
Aligning with the college’s decarbonisation strategy, the scheme was designed with an aim to reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings by enhancing their performance. This was achieved through installing a ground source heat pump as the primary source of heating, supported by immersion heating at peak times. All building insulation, plaster and decorations are breathable. The use of wood fibre insulation with a U Value equivalent 0.64 W/m²K has significantly increased thermal performance. Windows were replaced with double glazed units, representing a significant improvement in U-Value (1.2 W/m²K) against those removed. Air tightness was increased, with airtightness tape applied to all junctions. Finally, a Building Management System (BMS) was installed to allow efficient monitoring and management of the buildings, and delivering a reduction of their carbon impact as a result.
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