White Swan, York

Mainer Associates were appointed to undertake a BREEAM refurbishment assessment, Part L calculations and daylighting calculations for the redevelopment of an old hotel in the centre of York.

The development includes a number of apartments to be owned by a local housing association and retail units on the ground floor.

Due to the age of the building, it was difficult to achieve the many of the more modern aspects of building regulations and standards now prevalent in schemes such as BREEAM.

We were able to assist the developer in achieving excellent levels of energy performance due to the improvements we were making on the existing fabric and services. While the property was heating through the use of electric panel heaters, we were able to facilitate improvements in energy performance through the use of whole house ventilation with heat recovery.

One of the planning conditions for the development was to achieve 10% from renewable energy sources. Options for the development were limited and as such we maximised the amount of PV on the project which took the development to around 7% energy from renewables. The council were not keen on other technologies like heat pumps due to the aesthetics and subsequently happy that we had done all possible to get to the desired levels and the condition was discharged.

There were a number of elements to the project where solutions had to be found to demonstrate compliance with and indeed adhere to the local planning authority requirements given the building was in a conservation area. Secure by Design is requirement of BREEAM but this could not be achieved as a result of the building having to maintain certain elements due to the conservation area status. As such we were able to work with the SBD officer and the Local Authority to work a solution which meant we could achieve the BREEAM credits.

Acoustics was another of the elements. We worked with the developer to ensure that details and products were used that meant the internal acoustic levels required for BREEAM were achieved.

The Assessment has been submitted to the BRE with a score of 60% thus creating a margin of 5% over the cut off for a Very Good rating to be achieved.

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