119 Ebury Street in Belgravia is the UK’s first listed building to achieve BREEAM Outstanding for its proposed design, the highest possible rating. Grosvenor worked closely with Historic England and Westminster City Council to design a scheme that both protects the historically significant fabric of the residential property and achieves leading sustainability standards. The building’s improved appearance, healthy, high quality environment and strong sustainability credentials are all expected to enhance its appeal to occupiers and may increase the property’s rental yield, at the same time as reducing environmental impacts.
BREEAM Global Residential Award 2015
86% lower CO2 emissions
Healthy and high quality environment
Significantly reduced running costs
Strong sustainability credentials
Enhanced occupier appeal
Grosvenor is a privately-owned property group, which aims to use resources responsibly and create high-quality places for people to enjoy.
At 119 Ebury Street, Grosvenor is creating three highly sustainable duplex apartments. The Grade II listed building was previously a hotel and originally a single family home. The scheme is part of Grosvenor’s Sustainable Retrofitting Programme, which will improve 300 residential properties across Mayfair and Belgravia.
When the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment rating was launched in 2012, Grosvenor’s development team wanted to test the feasibility of achieving the highest level of certification in a listed building. BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment assesses not only energy and water consumption, but also the health and wellbeing of future occupants, the type of materials used, the management of waste and the extent of sustainability innovation.
Grosvenor chose 119 Ebury Street as the pilot for BREEAM Outstanding in a heritage context, aiming to:
Grosvenor received Planning and Listed Building Consent for 119 Ebury Street in May 2013. The project team includes David Morley Architects, Edward Pearce (mechanical and electrical engineers), Hurst Peirce + Malcolm (structural engineers), Eight Associates (sustainability consultant), Rickaby Thompson Associates (building performance engineers) and Grangewood (contractor).
Key sustainability features at 119 Ebury Street include:
Once 119 Ebury Street is completed in 2016, the scheme will undergo a two-year post-occupancy monitoring programme led by Rickaby Thompson Associates. This will benchmark the building’s actual performance against a standard Grosvenor refurbishment.
How to achieve the highest sustainability standards?
At 119 Ebury Street, strong sustainability aspirations from the outset have been key. Grosvenor appointed Eight Associates during the pre-planning phase to advise on the BREEAM and energy strategies. Together, Eight Associates and Grosvenor carried out an occupant profiling study to understand the expectations of occupants and identify opportunities to optimise the design.
How to achieve planning consent for sustainability improvements in a listed building?
Grosvenor’s London estate includes 1,500 listed buildings, a quarter of its London portfolio. The planning constraints for altering listed buildings mean significant energy saving improvements are challenging. At 119 Ebury Street, Grosvenor worked closely with English Heritage and Westminster City Council to explore a range of smart technological enhancements, considering their potential and appropriateness within a heritage building. 119 Ebury Street is a pilot that Grosvenor hopes will bring about clearer guidance for the sustainable redevelopment of heritage properties.
How to balance preservation of historic fabric alongside cutting edge sustainability initiatives?
At 119 Ebury Street, the team is trialling some previously untested technologies and building methods, which can bring challenges. For instance, they are exploring alternatives for the innovative solar slates originally specified, as these are no longer in production. It also continues to be challenging to achieve the required air tightness levels of 3m3/hr/m2, when working around retained historic building fabric. Initiatives at 119 Ebury Street will inform Grosvenor’s future approach to reducing the environmental impact of heritage buildings whilst conserving the character of the company’s London estate.
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Judges at the 2015 BRE Awards
“119 Ebury Street sets a benchmark for the sustainable retrofit of listed buildings in the UK. Through the hard work of a close-knit design team and the co-operation of a forward-looking council, a scheme has been produced that demonstrates how much the environmental impact of a listed building can be reduced, whilst preserving historically significant urban fabric.”