Metropolitan Housing Trust, which has since merged with Thames Valley Housing, developed Alvares House in 2013. Located in the heart of East London between Homerton and Kingsland, this 41-unit residential building provided high-quality, affordable housing in the Hackney area. The building boasted sleek, modern design and with plenty of light flowing in from curved windows.
Although these design details certainly added to the apartments’ value, they did present some challenges in regard to M&E, due to the communal heating system that distributed heating and hot water services through the corridors. Unfortunately, this contributed to overheating in the corridors and the apartments. This meant that the building needed to have a sophisticated heating system that could manage temperatures while keeping other areas comfortable.
Metropolitan Housing Trust recruited David J Higgins Consulting to solve this unique challenge. After careful assessment of the building’s architecture and characteristics, DJHC designed and project managed the implementation of a natural ventilation system that addressed the overheating issue in the communal areas of the building.
In addition, communal lighting using compact fluorescents presented another source of overheating. Lighting design was also a key concern. To balance the illumination in different areas, DJHC assessed designed and implemented an innovative lighting solution that ensured the lighting was only switched on as and when required, along with retrofitting more energy-efficient LED fittings into the existing light fittings. This minimised the HEPA input from the lighting into the communal corridors.
The result was a comfortable, contemporary building that enhanced the residents’ quality of life. The ventilation and lighting systems meant that the building was always illuminated without overheating, providing all the benefits of natural light without compromising on comfort. With light and airy communal spaces that matched the spacious, well-appointed apartments, Alvares House remains a desirable but affordable address in London’s East end.
Image capture: Mar 2019© 2020 Google