Straw Bale Church Hall with Sustainable M&E and Energy Strategy

This annex to a church in Tulse Hill, South London, will be used by up to 200 people at one time.

The total proposed floor area (including basement) is 634m2. The ground floor includes a large Community Hall, occupying 162m2 and upstairs, the first floor includes three smaller conference rooms, 65m2 each.

The design concept is driven by the desire not only to minimise the impact of fossil fuel energy reserves during the building phase but also to consume minimal fossil fuel energy during the lifetime of the building. Our focus is on low carbon, energy efficient design, resulting in a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Greengauge under took the energy strategy for the development of this diverse building including the Part L2A and London Plan compliance. Greengauge are now completing the detailed design of the M&E systems for the project.

Local materials will be used wherever possible and those selected will have low embodied energy and be reusable or recyclable after the building reaches the end of its life. The predominant materials are straw, timber, cellulose, lime, sand and clay. The walls are made of high density load bearing straw bales.

The heating and cooling requirements of the building will be met by a low energy combination of air source heat pumps serving active chilled beams complete with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery to ensure thermal comfort in all eventualities. Some photovoltaics will be installed on the south elevation, providing on-site electricity energy generation to directly offset consumption by building services.

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