Bunhill Energy Centre

NES are excited to be part of this innovative new scheme. The energy centre recovers heat created by the London underground network and uses it to heat over 500 local authority homes in the local area. This provides the residents with over 10% reduction in their heating bills while simultaneously reducing heat build-up within the tube network. This is the second scheme in Islington following the success of the first project off Clerkenwell Road.

The site is adjacent to a cluster of residential sky scrapers on City Road. These keynote schemes represent the joined up thinking of Islington Council planners, institutional investors and development companies. These developments aim to service the highly skilled affluent City of London workers who can commute the short walk to Old Street or Moorgate to the south.

The development is in a central position with 5 road elevations. It was essential that the development enhanced the local environment and did not represent an eye sore. In order to provide this patina copper was initially mooted as a material. Through the development process it became apparent the heat extraction machinery and flues would be emitting steam. The moisture from this would attached the copper making discolouration in the form for verdigris a significant concern. The expense of copper made wider panels, especially with the perforations prohibitively expensive.

The perforations have been punched with a cluster tool allowing for 10,000 holes / sq. m.
The Pattern is v-cut routed allowing for a subtle block out zone on the lower facade.
The solution finally developed with Islington Council Planning Department was to go for the Anodised Aluminium AnoCopper04. The anodic coating offers a 25 year guaranty on the finish and a 50 year expected lifetime. This thickness of the anodising layer is 25 micron, full BS standard. In addition to this the brushed effect was chosen.
The brushing is a form of polishing. It increases the light refraction and the visual interest of the facade. There is the concern that with the darker 'Copper Effect' colours some of the contrast would be lost in the dark shades. The brushed makes the whole facade that bit more vibrant.
Expanded mesh was also used on some elements of the face. Normal anodising grade aluminium is not ductile (flexible) enough to be slitted and expanded. A special anodising grade of 1050 aluminium was used. Because of the angles of the expanded mesh it did not cause an aesthetic problem to have this different metal adjacent to the brushed copper anodised aluminium.

Project details
Date: 2018 - to complete end 2018
Client: Islington County Council
Lead contractor: Colloid Engineering
Conceptual Architects: Cullinan Studio
Detailed Design: McGurk Chartered Architects Ltd
Facade Contractor: NES Solutions
Consulting Engineering: Ramboll UK Ltd
Landscape Architecture: J&L Gibbons
Artist: Toby Paterson
Quantity Surveyors: Gleeds
Consulting Surveyors: Right of Light
Scope: 625 sq. m


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