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London development shows the way to the new Part L
Published:  08 November, 2006
Palestra

The Palestra landmark office development in London is providing an early example of compliance with the latest Part L regulations for the conservation of fuel and power. Although the design was drafted before the new regulations came into force, the client requested it to be compliant anyway, a challenge taken up by the design team of Buro Happold.

Compliance was achieved in part through the innovative double-glazed façade. This is tinted, fritted and insulated to reduce heat gain and loss, while providing good levels of diffuse daylight inside.

The façade contains a range of sections with different tints, and the darker sections hide the insulated panels.

Pirooz Kani, building-services engineer and associate with Buro Happold, said, ‘One of the biggest challenges was working towards the untested Part L regulations, which we did through adding insulation to parts of the glass façade. This has been cleverly disguised so that the whole building appears seamless fully glazed.’

Space was another serious constraint, especially in the cantilevered floors at the top. The floor-to-floor height of 3.65 m contains a 150 mm raised floor 2.75 m from floor to ceiling and just 750 mm ceiling void for structure and services, including the ceiling and lights. Services were threaded through holes in the structural beams, and fan-coil units were specified for ventilation as they are versatile and particularly efficient in their use of space.

Pirooz Kani adds, ‘In the cantilever sections, the structure was more robust. Working closely with the structural-engineering team, more holes were made in beams to make space for the services that tenants demand.’