The hub hotel: an exemplary sustainable development

The hub brief: to be by an exemplary sustainable development. In 2014, it became the first hotel in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ (85%+) BREEAM rating at Interim Design Stage – with a score of 86.7%. In April 2015 it smashed its own record by exceeding 90.50% at Post Construction – defying the performance gap trap.

Greengage acted as the Sustainability Consultants and BREEAM assessors on the project from pre-planning through to post construction (2012- 2015) , supporting the design team in creating a hotel with innovation, sustainability and user-friendliness in mind.

First-class design and delivery

This extensive and ambitious refurbishment project, converted and extended the existing commercial offices (Use class B1) and retail units (A1) into a new format 163 bedroom hotel (C1) and a retained retail unit (A1).

The building’s original façade remained mostly the same, due to its locations in the heart of the historic West End. Westminster City Council did, however, allow the replacement of the bulky entrance canopy with an elegant linear canopy, with double structural ties provided along its length, echoing the neighbouring Duke of York Theatre’s strong cornice line.

Client/user satisfaction

The key client driver was that the rooms were to be more space efficient than their other (Premier Inn) room offerings, while still maintaining an excellent guest experience without sacrificing quality or comfort.

The design team, in close partnership with the client delivered exceptional space efficiently through intelligent design and cutting-edge technology. Bedrooms typically start at 11.4 sqm, compared to the 21.3sqm of a typical Premier Inn. The 163-bedroom Covent Garden hub by Premier Inn is the first of its kind – a meticulously product tested compact concept hotel.

Demonstrably better solution than demolition/rebuild

The original building was a 1982 office with less than 50% occupancy at the time of purchase. Despite being commercially unviable in its previous use there was no opportunity to demolish/ rebuild. The building is abutted on two sides with operational building, with a single lane/ one way street to the front and no rear access. Initial negotiations with Westminster Council indicated the council would not grant permission for demolition. Indeed due to the historic theatre opposite, and two more very close the works programme was vastly restricted for the hub.

Energy/carbon performance data:

A study to investigate the suitability of various renewable and LZC technologies was undertaken at RIBA Stage B. The analysis of the various technologies concluded that ASHPs were the most suitable heating and cooling technology for the development, to be combined with a mini CHP and thermal storage to provide a proportion of the hot water and electricity for the building.

These technologies combined with improvements to the building fabric resulted in a 24.5% CO2 savings over the Baseline 2010 Complaint Baseline Scheme, and total saving of 56,943 kg.CO2 per annum.

Sustainability Features
  • U-values (W/m2.K): Wall 0.24; Base Wall 0.22; Ground Floor 0.25; Roof 0.22; Glazing 1.5; Buffer Glazing 2.9; Roof Light 2.7
  • Heating and cooling provided via VRF air source heat pumps which incorporate heat recovery technology.
  • Bedrooms are ventilated using central air handling plant which incorporates heat recovery between the air paths to ensure energy is retained within the building.
  • The restaurant supply and extract ventilation incorporates heat recovery technology between the air paths to ensure energy is retained within the building
  • Low energy LED’s have been installed in though out the hotel, with dimming and PIR controls in the bedrooms.
Materials
  • Greater than 95% of the new build materials, have been responsibly sourced i.e. from certification scheme such as FSC, PEFC, EMS.
  • Greater than 90% of the all materials used for the major building elements were Green Guide to Specifications A or A* rated.
  • All new insulation in the building fabric and services is responsibly sourced and Green Guide rating A or A*.
Water
  • All sanitary ware within the development is specified as having low volume flow to ensure water efficiency including reduced capacity showers and dual flush WC’s.
  • More than 50% of the flushing demand is met by a grey water recycling plant which collects water from the showers thus reducing the consumption of fresh potable water at the hotel.
Biodiversity
  • 80m2 biodiverse roof, with specially chosen wildflower species, which enhances ecological and wildlife value.
POE
  • POE study case study covering design and construction aims, performance of the building in the first 12 months of operation (water and energy) and assessment of the occupant’s views on the building performance.
  • Benchmarked against industry standards and, in the case of the occupant feedback, the Building Use Studies dataset.

 

Also – see this news article Case Study of the hub Hotel Receives a Distinction