Architect Jonathan Pile, Director of the Oval Partnership, has designed an energy efficient self-build project for his own family into a tightly constrained site behind buildings in Deptford in South London, while also being sensitive to its local heritage and conservation setting. Enhabit provided mechanical services design, MVHR heat recovery ventilation and solar thermal systems for the project.
The award-winning house was designed around a courtyard to make the most of the complex urban infill site. The building’s layout capitalises on the irregularly shaped site through an ingenious combination of rectilinear and non-rectilinear spaces. The house met Code for Sustainable Homes 4 through a variety of sustainable measures, including a comprehensive insulation and airtightness strategy. The project’s use of black painted timber cladding references local timber-clad houses from the 17th and 18th century, including the one that previously occupied the site.
Mechanical Services Design
Enhabit provided mechanical services sesign and assessed a wide range of heating options for the project. In the end, the team opted for an efficient gas boiler alongside solar thermal system, in part driven by the spatial constraints on the project.
The solar thermal panels are located on a south-facing single storey building, which was the best location both for solar gain and aesthetically. Enhabit specified and installed a flat roof solar thermal system with two flat plate collectors. The system provides around 20% of heating capacity for the whole system. Installing renewables was also essential towards achieving the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 accreditation.
MVHR heat recovery ventilation
The unusual layout of the building led to the specification of two Zehnder Comfoair 200 MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) units, as there was very little room to run ducting. Enhabit designed, supplied and commissioned the MVHR systems.
Jonathan Pile commented: “It was really useful to have Enhabit handling all the M&E elements on the project. We are pleased with the solar thermal and MVHR systems which are contributing well to the overall performance of the house. Enhabit have been brilliant with their aftersales support as well and have made some important post-installation tweaks, which have been extremely helpful.”