An energy efficient future

Nick Myall
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018

The Portman Estate have sensitively refurbished a Grade II listed building to the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard, the highest energy efficiency standard for refurbishments in the world

Tucked away behind 21 Gloucester Place in London sits 2 Gloucester Place Mews, a modest listed building constructed in the early nineteenth century as a rear mews to the esteemed Gloucester Place. The Portman Estate has displayed its innovative approach to refurbishment and sustainability by sensitively retrofitting the building, which is Grade II listed, to Passivhaus standard.

The Passivhaus standard was developed in Germany in the early 1990s and is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building. 2 Gloucester Place Mews has been retrofitted to Passivhaus EnerPHit standard – a subcategory within the Passivhaus standard that is the highest energy efficiency standard in the world for refurbishments.

This standard far exceeds current UK building regulations, which could take years to catch up to Passivhaus technology.

Aside from being one of London’s most energy efficient homes, 2 Gloucester Place Mews offers its residents a tranquil escape in the heart of the city. The home comprises three en-suite bedrooms, including a spectacular master bedroom with an enormous walk in wardrobe; a spacious, open-plan living area, large kitchen and private garage complete with charging point for an electric vehicle

Only a handful of buildings in the UK’s private rental sector have been refurbished to this standard, providing a unique opportunity to secure a sustainable, historic home in one of London’s most prized locations. As well as supporting the environment, those who live in a Passivhaus have reported experiencing a better night’s sleep due to the excellent indoor air quality in Passivhaus buildings. The excellent indoor air quality also improves general health, quality of life and wellbeing.

Michael Jones, Projects Director, The Portman Estate says, “The Portman Estate is committed to tackling environmental and sustainable issues affecting those living and working in the area or visiting for leisure or business. Passivhaus offers a ‘fabric first’ approach to low energy buildings, with the core focus being to sustainably reduce the demand for space heating and cooling. Consequently, carbon emissions from 2 Gloucester Place Mews are calculated to be reduced by at least 75%.”

Gloucester Place Mews, Building Features:

  • Walls are insulated with a 40mm aerogel blanket used in spacecraft engineering. This ‘blanket’ insulates external walls to reduce heat loss and gain to a minimum; keeping the building warm in winter and cool in the summer. The membrane also acts to exclude any draughts
  • Wall membrane and triple glazing keep noise to a minimum and ensure thermal comfort 
  • Building features mechanical ventilation to ensure that clean air is circulated throughout the building
  • The ventilation system and cold-bridge free design eliminates damp, draughts, dust or pollutants
  • Features a charging point for an electric vehicle and low energy LED lighting
  • Energy bills are estimated at a couple of hundred pounds a year as little energy is needed for heating
  • The building has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ – The world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings

Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

United Kingdom

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team