The vibrant colours of Saffron Square make it a striking addition to the south London skyline
A multi-unit residential development in Croydon incorporating an iconic 44-storey tower and a new public town square, this highly sustainable urban complex incorporates Ramboll designed building services throughout.
The development forms part of the London Borough of Croydon’s regeneration plans, with a view to making Croydon London’s third city. The scheme comprises commercial uses on ground and part first floor levels with 792 apartments and penthouses on the upper floors. The development includes 36 affordable shared ownership apartments through Affinity Sutton (now Clarion Housing Group) and the total GIA is 46,400m². The development has been undertaken in 6 phases with construction commencing in 2010, initial occupation starting in 2013 with the first 5 phases fully occupied in March 2014. The final phase, the 45-storey tower was occupied in 2017.
At the heart of Saffron Square is a landscaped public square with cafes, bars and shops. This high quality open space offers a safe and attractive environment for people to engage, rest and play. The new square has been designed to be accessible to all and provides a range of functions.
Ramboll has provided MEP full-design services since the inception of the project in 2006, taking the scheme through the initial planning submission and two further updates.
We worked closely with the client, Berkeley Homes, Housing Association Affinity Sutton (now part of the Clarion Housing Group), the M&E contractors and on development retailers to design and implement MEP services that would meet the needs of all stakeholders.
Ramboll’s innovative design solutions enabled an ECOHOME “Very Good” sustainable rating to be achieved, using high levels of thermal insulation and energy-efficient building fabric, reducing heat loss from all the properties. Low energy lighting has also been placed throughout the development.
A combined heat and power generation plant in the tower block basement meant carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by more than 30%, using a centralised LTHW heating system.
Localised whole house systems were used in most apartments to combat the emanating noise and air home pollution from Wellesley Road. This enabled the incorporation of heat exchangers, a boost ventilation mode for summertime ventilation attenuators and NOX filters, where necessary. A smoke-extract system was also installed for each internal corridor.
The floor to floor height is critical in the design of tall buildings. We took the lead in the coordination of the MEP and structural zones, in conjunction with the architect, ensuring the desired ceiling height was achieved. By undertaking this early in the design the overall height of the building was rationalised to meet the building AOD level requirements agreed at the planning stages.
Experience in high-rise buildings has shown that riser allocation is critical as it determines the core size and has a much higher effect on NIA in relation to low rise buildings. Getting the most efficient spatial/riser requirements is critical. We achieved this by undertaking the initial spatial assessment using 3D modelling (Revit/BIM) whilst taking into account the exact support/expansion allowance needed for the services. This ensures the risers maximise the efficiency of the building, while mitigating any installation issues.
Ramboll input was vital to the development of the façade. Our designs achieved the right balance between the energy (passive design by reducing the need for cooling and reducing the ventilation requirements), architectural design of the façade, occupant comfort (minimising overheating) and health and wellbeing (daylight provision).
The location of the louvres is vitally important to ensure the ventilation systems function efficiently and coordinate the architectural and structural designs. As a result, utility cupboards and ceiling heights within the flats were optimised leading to a reduction in NIA and minimising impact on the internal interior/architectural aspirations.
The passive design strategy and renewable strategy helped the building achieve the highest available BREEAM rating of ‘Outstanding’ at design stage. Ayrshire College Kilmarnock campus is only one of three educational facilities to date to achieve this and is on target to translate the achievement to the post construction phase.