Energy Centre at Spring Mews

12 June 2015
Topic: Energy/Carbon
Type: Case Studies
Member: CLS Holdings
Energy Centre at Spring Mews

Energy Centre at Spring Mews

12 June 2015
Topic: Energy/Carbon
Type: Case Studies
Member: CLS Holdings

Key Facts

  • Hotel 35% better efficiency than Part L
  • Student accommodation 27% better efficiency than Part L
  • 80% of heat/cool demand provided by renewable geothermal energy
  • BREEAM Very Good
  • Energy Performance Certificate A rating


CLS Holdings is a commercial property investment company with assets in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. In line with CLS Holdings’ ongoing commitment to sustainability across all its activities, energy efficiency was a high priority at Spring Mews.

Located in the heart of the Vauxhall Gardens Conservation Area in London, Spring Mews is a new development offering 378 student rooms and communal facilities, a 93-bed Staybridge Hotel and flexible office space. Facilities include a gym, indoor swimming pool, cinema and laundry.

CLS Holdings’ aim at Spring Mews was to design an energy centre that had the flexibility to supply different demands to mixed-use requirements in the most efficient way possible, while exceeding planning requirements on Part L 2010 Building Regulations. To achieve this, CLS appointed a Swedish energy consultant, EGMA Systems, which had previously supported the firm on a similar system at Vänersborg in Sweden in 2001. CLS wanted to build on the lessons and success there, and so EGMA Systems designed the energy centre at Spring Mews in partnership with Hoare Lea.


The design of the energy centre at Spring Mews incorporates renewable and low-carbon energy sources, along with efficient technologies:

  • An open loop geothermal heat pump system (400kW heating / 1,204kW cooling) supplies either heating or cooling based on system requirements throughout the year. The system will provide more than 80% of the scheme’s heating, cooling and domestic hot water requirements
  • The ventilation system’s air handling units are fitted with heat recovery cores with bypass dampers or rotary wheels to transfer heat extracted from spaces to warm new air intake
  • A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit (120kW heating / 80kW electricity) has been installed to heat water for the low-temperature hot water system, with electricity generated by the unit fed back into the energy centre network
  • Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels (30kW) convert solar energy into electricity, with any excess power generated fed back to the grid
  • Fans and pumps have variable speed drives, so that they only operate at speeds to satisfy actual demands
  • Hotel fan coil units and induction units that provide heating or cooling to bedrooms can only be used when activated by access control cards. The units also switch off when windows are opened
  • A high performance lighting scheme uses energy efficient LED, tungsten filament and fluorescent luminaires. A key card system in both the student and hotel rooms ensures lights are switched off when not in use.

In addition to operational efficiency initiatives at Spring Mews, CLS also commissioned an embodied carbon study by Circular Ecology. This showed that the development performed well compared with other similar industry projects. Spring Mews achieved embodied carbon of 571 kg CO2e per sq m of Gross Internal Floor Area, excluding building services.

Challenges and Achievements


How to manage such a complex project?

The complexity of installing new design systems based on Swedish knowledge applied to English conditions proved to be challenging for both the Swedish and English engineers throughout the project. New ways of thinking needed to be found as conventional thinking would not achieve the efficiency targets set out by CLS Holdings. For instance, most low-temperature hot water systems in the UK are designed to be delivered at 55°C to 80°C, whereas the system at Spring Mews delivers heat at 35°C to 40°C.


How to ensure a smooth transition?

The integration of all the technology (costing around £1.4 million) in one energy centre required a sophisticated application in the way the Building Management System (BMS) controls the plant, whilst meeting the varied requirements of the hotel, student accommodation and offices. This led to a comprehensive training program for Engineers right through to Hotel and Student Managers.


How to achieve Very Good sustainability standards across multiple uses?

CLS Holdings achieved three separate BREEAM Very Good certificates for the hotel, student accommodation and offices, ensuring that all uses delivered the same standards. CLS Holdings closely monitored contractors throughout design, build and delivery to achieve the required sustainability levels. CLS held regular BREEAM review meetings, where the contractors updated CLS and the BREEAM assessor directly on progress.


Find out more

Rowan Packer

Group Sustainability Manager


*Please note that the information on this page was supplied by the BBP Member and the BBP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content