Nine Elms Skills Centre Mixed Use Development

The Nine Elms project is currently one of the largest regeneration programmes in the UK. Elementa are proud to have been appointed on the original sites scheme for Carillion Developments and again in 2018 for part of the scheme for a new £100 million development comprising of the Nine Elms Skills Centre, a multi phased home for Lambeth College students with a phase 1 vocational skills centre, and over 230 residential homes in a series of blocks ranging from 5 – 25 stories.

Efficiency is at the forefront of this project, with the college at the end of its natural life and inefficient to operate, therefore consolidating space of the existing college was the first challenge. The new college will be built on a much smaller footprint and allow the construction of the residential developments to be built upon the extra space generated. These new projects will create necessary extra revenue to fund the planned development.

With numerous mixed-use elements formulating the project, Elementa devised a strategy to most efficiently serve the sites, as the buildings would be operated at different points of the day. The residential dwellings will be used in the night and will require the majority of services from late afternoon onwards, whilst the college will be operated during the daytime. Therefore a heat sharing network solution to allow the buildings to be served most efficiently at minimum capex is needed – this is closely linked with GLA aspirations. Through the summer when there is no demand on heating, this can still be used to serve the demand for hot water and heat recovery from cooling.

Elementa displayed innovation by challenging the client’s initial brief to produce a more efficient solution. The client requested the skills centre to run air conditioning throughout the building, however, Elementa provided extensive thermal modelling of different options and was able to recommend a more passive natural ventilation solution. By utilising exposed thermal mass and secure night ventilation, this will create cooling passively and thereby avoid overheating without the use of refrigeration energy. It also reduces ongoing operational cost.

Elementa worked closely with the design team to maximise residential units which is one of the main sources of income. Coordinating with the architect, services were compacted into the services void as far as possible which allowed an extra storey onto the residential block. This was also closely coordinated with the structural engineers to ensure appropriate slab thickness and coordinated services routes were adequately assessed to no detrimental effect to the ceiling heights.

Once complete, this truly transformational project will deliver a world class skills training facility which will improve the future of the local economy and give direct benefit for students, employers and the local community.

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