Our selection of case studies showcase a cross section of recent QODA projects.
We are an energetic and enthusiastic Design Engineering Consultancy led by highly experienced and talented engineers, working across mechanical, electrical and sustainable areas of building design. To find out more about what we do, check out our case studies below.
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Royal West of England Academy (RWA)
QODA were appointed as building services and sustainability engineers alongside QODA Light who were appointed as lighting designers for the Light and Inspiration Project at the Royal West of England Academy of Arts (RWA). The project aimed to transform the experience for visitors and communities within the spectacular Grade II* listed building. The project involved remodelling the building’s exterior; enlargement of the café and improvements to the retail and reception areas; the replacement of two vast gallery roof lanterns; the transformation of the forecourt and main foyer into a social space; the introduction of advanced digital technology including equipment for on-site marketing and e-commerce, under floor heating to improve energy efficiency, and upgraded utilities; the introduction of a Changing Places Facility, essential for those with profound disabilities, and the installation of an external lift. A key driver of the project was to improve the conditions within gallery spaces which were suffering from overheating. QODA carried out extensive thermal modelling to inform the introduction of an automatic natural ventilation system together with new underfloor heating and Air Source Heat Pumps to allow the removal of gas from the site entirely. The upgrades have vastly improved the experience for visitors and volunteers as well improving energy efficiency, reducing costs, and decreasing the environmental impact.
QODA has been working with Bell Phillips Architects for Sevenoaks District Council on a new residential development, Bevan Place in Swanley. The site aims to be a landmark development, creating a precedent for sustainable homes in the area. QODA have been carrying out the mechanical, electrical, and sustainability designs for the mixed-use residential and commercial areas. By implementing high-performing fabric standards alongside the use of ambient loop two stage heat pumps we have been able to create a 74% saving in carbon emissions above the baseline Part L, with 68% of the regulated energy generated on-site using low carbon energy sources. By working closely with the architect in the early stages of design, we were able to highlight how to create a high-performing building whilst also reducing the chance of overheating through different glazing options, thus taking advantage of solar gains during winter but mitigating the need for active cooling during summer.
140 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park
Milton Park is one of the largest mixed use business estates in Europe and is home to a wide range of companies leading the way in the hi-tech, innovative and R&D industries. The scheme at 140 Eastern Avenue involved the infilling and development of Ground Floor with cafe, conference and meeting facilities, improved reception and entrance, serviced offices, and associated core facilities. Level 1 and Level 2 have been refurbished with serviced offices, associated core facilities, meeting rooms, co-working space, and break-out space. The building has been provided with high efficiency LED lighting, bespoke IT infrastructure, and server rooms, which all targeted BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
QODA have been commissioned by Hill Construction to collect construction evidence for Passivhaus certification for the Agar Grove Estate redevelopment Phase 1C. Originally built in the 1960’s, Agar Grove forms part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme and aims to promote a ‘fabric-first’ approach to improve energy performance. The new homes will be built to achieve Passivhaus certification, and the scheme is set to become the UK’s largest residential Passivhaus development when all works are complete. The development will replace low rise social housing blocks clustered around an eighteen-storey tower served by its own shop and café, with a range of house types including maisonettes and tower block flats. Emphasis has been placed upon creating liveable spaces between homes and improved pedestrian, cycle, and vehicle connectivity across the site. Once all phases of the regeneration are complete the housing capacity will almost double.
Cambridge Investment Partnership
QODA were appointed as MEP and Passivhaus Consultants working alongside Cambridge Investment Partnership and professional team across nine sites in Cambridgeshire, totalling over 775 new dwellings. Achieving Passivhaus accreditation for all the dwellings is a key objective. QODA’s Passivhaus designers led the conceptual design, fully committed to a fabric first approach to energy efficiency and low carbon approaches to architectural, structural, and building services design strategies. QODA’s in-house expertise and close coordination with MEP engineering strategies provide sustainable design solutions enhancing the Passivhaus design. The Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) modelling is key in monitoring the design development and sustainability, including Photovoltaic panels generating solar power for hot water and heating with feed-in tariffs back to the National Grid. QODA continues to advise on local and global pollution issues, health and wellbeing, human-centric design, and creating social value in the community.
Perrot Court, Elizabeth College, Guernsey
The project involved the refurbishment of a 30-year-old concrete frame commercial building into a modern College building which is fully integrated with the larger campus via a new pedestrian and services link bridge. The building also includes four levels of underground car parking which were also refurbished with new services as part of the project. The large deep span floor plans meant the existing building had deep dark floor plans which QODA overcame by creating new lightwells and a large atrium via the new glazed entrance into the building. The project involved the strip out of around 80% of the existing services which were replaced with new more efficient services. The project was refurbished in phases (lower car parks & habitable levels) which meant QODA had to approach the services with caution to ensure no unplanned or long services disruptions to the live parts of the building.
QODA have been working with The Harwell Campus Construction & Development team, along fantastic professional teams including Bidwells, Faithful & Gould, and Allies & Morrison Architects, on a new speculative, multi-occupier, multi-use building. The building will provide accommodation to various tenants incorporating a multitude of uses including office spaces, advanced manufacturing, and science & research applications. QODA are excited about the opportunity to push the envelope of low energy & low carbon design with this building. This aligns with the previous studies we have been involved with at the Harwell Campus to set low energy/carbon standards for future projects to be tracked against. QODA have been investigating the possibility of utilising vacuum drainage to vastly reduce water usage but to also give tenants much improved flexibility within their premises.
The Conservatory Café, Cliveden
QODA were appointed to provide the MEP services design for the Grade I listed Conservatory Café at Cliveden. Designed in 1851 by Charles Barry, famous for designing the Palace of Westminster, the current building is the third house on the site, the previous two having burned down. Cliveden has a colourful past and in 1966 the National Trust took over the management of the Estate, opening it to the public. Due to the listed status of the building the services had to be carefully planned and coordinated, meaning various areas of joinery at low level and within the new roof structure was utilised. Overheating was a real issue and a challenge to tackle. After producing a thermal comfort assessment, QODA introduced automatic opening roof lights, external louvres, and active cooling hidden within the low-level joinery. The lighting has been kept minimal and sympathetic to the listed beams with white linear fittings. The nature of the building also made smoke detection systems a challenge, as multiple smoke detectors across the building would have opposed the heritage of the building. To combat this, a one beam detector that covers the length of the building was used.
QODA have been appointed as MEP and Sustainable Engineers for the 1000 dwellings masterplan at Convent Way, which spans across 5 phases. The project is trying to set a new urban dwelling standard for the London Borough of Hillingdon in terms of integrating Passivhaus design, landscaping, sustainable transport, and building quality. Car parking will be covered with podiums to create a healthy and vibrant community. QODA are designing a communal ambient heat network to provide maximum benefit to the client with respect to plant capital expenditure and space consumption, while trying to minimise tenant bills. The 2 stage reversible heat pump and passive design features will maximise thermal comfort now, while also meeting the climate challenges of 2050 and 2080 with minimal refurbishment.
St Peter’s College, University of Oxford
Under QODA’s leadership, St Peter’s College committed to the Passivhaus Low Energy Building standard as a key approach to delivering their sustainable building aspirations. QODA were appointed as Passivhaus Consultants for the project, guiding the design team to develop a compliant scheme. This has involved influencing the construction system, the façade design, as well as dealing with complexities including the proximity of historic structures, façade noise issues, and stringent planning targets, which were comfortably met by the Passivhaus approach. The approach has also led to the simplification of the M&E design, in particular, the proposed use of electric heating, which eliminates the need for wet heating pipework and boilers. The overheating risk has been carefully considered for the project, leading to a thermal strategy consisting of secure ventilation through screened openings, thermal mass, optimised glazing design (including deep reveals for shading), and the option for future cooling to be added through the air system allowing resilience to climate change.