Mayville Community Centre

The first certified Passive House, non-domestic retrofit in the UK, revitalising the local community while achieving over 85% energy savings

The all-electric Mayville Community Centre (renamed the Mildmay Centre) is the first non-domestic retrofit in the UK to be certified to the full Passivhaus standard. It was certified in 2011. It may also be the UK’s first Passivhaus which used a ground source heat pump, so the gas supply could be removed to avoid burning fossil fuels. It was refurbished for just 7% more than if it had simply achieved the basic requirements of the Building Regulations, yet it achieved an astounding 95% energy savings over its first winter of operation.

Built circa 1890 as a brick and concrete electricity generating station for the North London tram network, it was converted to a community centre in the 1970s, and it provides a focal point for the residents and a valuable community resource.

We insulated the 19th Century building envelope and opened up the basement to provide more usable space. Draught free construction, triple glazed windows and onsite renewables all contributed to the improvements. All junction details are designed to prevent or minimise thermal bridges and meet the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy calculations.

Onsite energy generation is via 126m2 of photovoltaic panels generating 18kWp of electricity, 3m2 of solar thermal provides hot water and a ground source heat pump provides heat to the radiators for the tiny space heating requirement. Other features include rainwater harvesting, two native wild flower meadow roofs and an ecologically sensitive garden for community food growing projects.

Photography: Tim Crocker, bere:architects

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  • 3R Awards, Best Public Building, Winner 2011
  • Greenbuild Awards, Leisure, Winner 2012
  • Passivhaus Trust UK Passivhaus Awards, Retrofit, Winner 2012
  • RICS London Awards, Design and Innovation, Highly Commended 2012
  • Constructing Excellence Awards, Building Performance, Winner 2012

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