Greengage carried out the BREEAM assessment for the new Premier Inn hub hotel in London’s Covent Garden. It opened in November 2014 and became the first UK hotel to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating. By incorporating a number of innovative design and technological efficiency measures throughout the building, high levels of sustainability were achieved across all disciplines.
Whitbread, launched their ‘hub by Premier Inn’ concept in 2013, targeting UK city centres with a planned new generation of compact hotels with ingenious, contemporary room design and excellent connectivity. The Covent Garden hub on St Martin’s Lane was the first to open and has become a leader in showcasing the sustainability that could be achieved by such a building.
The St Martin’s Lane hub has 163 rooms that are just over 11sqm each. The compact size is optimised with innovative design ideas, such as a desk that folds into the bed and luggage storage underneath the bed. Other features of the rooms include a 40” smart TV, free Wi-Fi and an app that allows guests to check in, pre-set the temperature and lighting in their room, and other features.
The hub was the first hotel to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating with a score of 86.7% at the Interim Design Stage, and then went even further by achieving a score of 90.5% at Post Construction Stage. In order to reach this score, consideration had to be given to every aspect of the project by all the involved stakeholders from the early design stage.
A reduction in energy usage and its impact are one of the key features of the hub hotel with 100% of energy usage from low carbon sources and a 24.5% reduction in regulated CO2 emissions against the 2010 Building Regulations. Variable refrigerant flow air source heat pumps are used to heat and cool the bedrooms and deli bar, which incorporates heat recovery technology between air paths to ensure energy is retained within the building. Cross flow heat exchanger air handling units are used to introduce fresh air into the public areas, whilst recovering useful heat from the air being extracted. Low energy LED bulbs with motion sensors are also used throughout the hotel to ensure energy use is kept to a minimum. Lighting controls in rooms mean that lighting will only be energised when the occupier insert their key card into the appropriate wall mounted device.
Water usage in the hub hotel is 40% less than average hotels, this was a key component to achieving the ‘Outstanding’ rating. The water savings are achieved by a variety of methods including, flow restrictors in the showers to reduce the flow rate from 9.5l/min to 8 l/min; dual flush toilets; low flow basin taps; no baths; and greywater recycling that provides all of the flushing requirements. The hot water is provided by a CHP energy saving unit with thermal storage.
Another key component to achieving the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating was the effective management and constant monitoring required throughout the life of the project. Management began with initial stakeholder consultation and continued during construction with the high score achieved in the Considerate Constructor’s Scheme. Now the hotel is open, staff are trained to raise their awareness of how to reduce energy and water consumption so that the sustainability values can be carried through the life of the hotel.
Other sustainability initiatives which contributed to the BREEAM score were the biodiverse roof, the responsibly sourced materials and reused façade, the utility meters connected to the building management system and the successful diversion of 99% of non-hazardous construction waste from landfill.
With high scores obtained across all credit categories, including the maximum score in the management, transport and materials categories, this project demonstrates how buildings can become truly sustainable with effective management and buy-in from all concerned parties throughout the life of the development.