Hounslow Civic Centre
This new, seven storey, 16,000m² building creates a strong civic presence within the community, with the design promoting a feeling of openness and creating connections between the public and private functions of the building.
Continuing our relationship with Sheppard Robson, Max Fordham provided M&E and Sustainability Consultancy for the new Civic Centre in Hounslow.
"a landmark building that will revitalise and give a real boost to the town centre" Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council
The public-facing amenities are located on the ground floor, with a library, adult learning and registrar on the first floor. Above this are four office floors for the council, with the civic chamber positioned on the top floor. The civic chamber is a prominent feature of the building’s external envelope whilst also providing views across Hounslow.
The facade maximises natural light by incorporating large windows, while solid elements minimise solar gain, cooling loads and consequently the energy consumption of the building.
In considering the most appropriate engineering systems for the building we were driven by an ambition to reduce the energy usage, and hence the carbon emissions, to as low a level as was realistically feasible. As a result, the servicing strategy for the building was based around the use of variable volume active chilled beams.
This enabled us to exploit the benefits of ‘free cooling’ chillers, as active chilled beams don’t require high grade chilled water. In low ambient conditions, ‘free cooling’ chillers rely in part on the temperature of the external air to provide cooling, rather than solely relying on the more energy intensive refrigerant cycle.
In addition to these low energy measures, we also incorporated more conventional energy saving measures into the design including heat recovery on all ventilation systems, low energy/LED lighting (with automatic switching and dimming), variable speed pumps and fans, efficient boiler plant and control of plant via carbon dioxide monitoring.
"The building, combining a public library with council offices, is architecturally striking, environmentally enlightened and publicly orientated" Architects' Journal