Stephen Taylor Court
Stephen Taylor Court (formerly known as Croft Gardens) is an all-electric student accommodation project, built to Passivhaus standards with a lifetime of 100 years.
Set within a conservation area known for its arts and crafts houses, the accommodation is made up of 60 student bedrooms and 25 apartments for fellows and their families across four buildings.
Working alongside Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, we provided Passivhaus, sustainability, MEP and acoustic consultancy for the project.
The cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure of the new buildings was chosen for a range of reasons, including its inherent airtightness and low embodied carbon. The project reused existing materials, using recycled and locally sourced content where possible.
The development is all-electric, to align with the ongoing decarbonisation of the electricity grid.
We developed an energy strategy that uses ground source heat pumps and a heat exchanger to provide low-energy cooling in summer and heating in winter for three of the buildings. As well as being energy-efficient, this helps to reduce the need for residents to open their windows at night, given the traffic noise from the nearby road.
We carried out modelling to advise on window sizing to balance good daylight without excess solar gain. This was particularly important as several of the buildings’ principal façades face east and west, making effective solar shading difficult
As the Passivhaus approach helps drive down the space heating demand of the buildings, other energy uses become more significant, particularly domestic hot water, and the designs help to address this. Although there are different end solutions for the buildings based on their context and typology, some elements are common:
- Low-flow sanitaryware to reduce end demand
- System design that minimises distribution and storage losses
One of the buildings is fitted with instantaneous point-of-use water heating with waste-water heat recovery, and in the remaining buildings the domestic hot water is generated by heat pumps.
"The project follows the King’s College Cranmer Road project which helped spearhead the adoption of Passivhaus within Cambridge, particularly amongst the colleges. We’ve enjoyed working on the two projects and taking the lessons learnt from Cranmer Road to apply to Stephen Taylor Court." - Gwilym Still, Passivhaus Director, Max Fordham