Mayville Community Centre, Passivhaus Retrofit - 85% savings


Full Passivhaus Certification: 14th December 2011

The Mayville Community Centre is the first certified Passivhaus non-domestic retrofit in the UK. It was built for just 3% more than if it had simply been built to meet standard building regulations, yet it has achieved 95% energy savings over its first winter of operation.

That the Mayville Community Centre has surpassed the Enerphit retrofit standard and reached full passivhaus certification is testament to rigorous architectural detailing, a high level of support and on-site training and continual monitoring of construction detailing throughout the build process, to ensure the fabric met all the Passivhaus requirements including air tightness. 

Built circa 1890, the centre is located within the Mayville estate in Islington, London. Ranked in the top 10% most deprived areas in London, the centre provides a focal point for the local residents as a valuable community resource.

The building refurbishment focuses on providing more usable space of a much higher quality than previously, but doing this within the original building footprint to maximise the efficiency of the investment. At the same time, the original building fabric is improved in order to reduce the building’s energy consumption. The finished building is predicted to consume 90%-94% less energy than before the refurbishment. 

Massively improved energy use and CO2 emissions are achieved by excellent levels of insulation, ensuring draught free construction, triple glazed windows and onsite renewables. All junction details are designed to prevent or minimise thermal bridges, and contribute to the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy calculations.

Onsite energy generation has been made possible via 126sqm of photovoltaic panels generating 18kWp of electricity, 3m2 of solar thermal to provide hot water and a ground source heat pump to provide heat to the radiators for space heating. The project takes a holistic approach to the environment incorporating rainwater harvesting, two native wild flower meadow roofs and ecologically sensitive gardens for community food growing projects.

Mayville is a community centre that local residents are extremely proud of and a building that is serving their needs without wasting financial resources on large energy bills: a building that will stand as a model for urban sustainability.


Winner: Constructing Excellence Awards, Building Performance in London & SE England 2012  

Winner: UK Passivhaus Awards 2012, Retrofit category (UK Passivhaus Trust)  

Winner: 3R Awards (Refurb, Rethink, Retrofit) 2011, Best Public Building (The Architects Journal, Construction News and Civil Engineer)

Winner: Green Build Awards 2012, Leisure category. "recognising excellence in sustainable buildings, with a particular focus on those projects that can illustrate an understanding of the importance of building performance in use".