houghtonlespring-head Houghton-le-Spring
New primary care building makes history by securing top sustainability rating at design stage.

Houghton-le-Spring Primary Care Centre is innovative in the health sector, embracing a number of integrated low energy design and technological features:

Energy Reducing Design Features

  • The building was orientated to take advantage of solar gains during the winter months, but shading was provided to prevent overheating
    in the summer.
  • An innovative low-energy ventilation system was developed in conjunction with Breathing Buildings. The system is incorporated into the building fabric and includes a thermal wall, to provide natural ventilation and passive cooling to the public spaces.
  • Exposed concrete slabs and a high density internal thermal wall exploit the thermal mass providing passive cooling during summer.
  • The building envelope U-values were enhanced 20% above the minimum requirements of Approved Document L and the air permeability rate was enhanced 40% above the minimum requirements of Approved Document L.
  • Heat recovery was considered for all ventilation systems (with the exception of catering) and implemented where appropriate (all of the air handling systems are full fresh air).
  • High efficacy lighting was specified.
  • Intelligent lighting controls were specified, including daylight compensation.
  • Rainwater Harvesting will provide
    the needs for toilet flushing.

Low/Zero Carbon Technologies

  • A 550kW ground source heat pump system serves the underfloor and radiator space heating, and the heating and cooling needs of the mechanical ventilation systems.
  • A 350m² monocrystalline solar PV
    array mounted on the roof.
  • 10m² solar thermal array serving
    the hot water load.
  • A 5.5kW wind turbine.

The development has been certified to BREEAM 2008 ‘Outstanding’ rating for the design phase, the 1st in the healthcare sector.

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