Faithful+Gould and our parent company, Atkins, completed a major £2.9m refurbishment of the Colwyn Bay police headquarters. One of the project’s aims was to improve the building's comfort levels and reduce the carbon footprint by incorporating a passive design approach. The project was partly funded by the Carbon Trust and is seen as an exemplar for what should and could be achieved under the new building regulations. The approach was to refurbish the building in a way that would reduce its carbon footprint and improve the comfort levels without adding air conditioning. The challenge was working within an existing building to improve the ventilation and comfort levels, whilst improving the building’s carbon footprint.
A number of option appraisals were undertaken by the team, which resulted in the following being adopted:
- Carbon savings: The brief required the designers to reduce the building's carbon footprint by at least 20%.
- Improved comfort levels: The temperature range of the existing building was uncomfortable with significant overheating during summer. The brief required indoor air temperatures to be maintained at less that 26°C using only natural ventilation.
- External shading: The entire façade was removed as a way of creating sufficient shading and natural ventilation to maintain temperatures below 26°C.
- Natural lighting: Solar control glass and internal shading measures allow light to penetrate but reduce unwanted solar heat gains, while light shelves reflect daylight onto ceilings to provide diffuse natural light, minimising the need for artificial lighting.
- Ventilation: Ventilation is split into high and low levels. Motorised high level openings provide night time cooling.
- Internal (core) ventilation systems were rationalised. Staircases are used for natural stack ventilation.
- Insulation: The building was re-roofed with additional insulation. This reduces energy bills by cutting down night time heat loss.
- BMS: The original heating system and controls were overhauled. A new building management system helps monitor and manage heat and electrical systems.