Whitbread, which puts sustainability high on its business priorities, wanted the new hotel’s energy performance to exceed already-stringent building regulations’ requirements by more than 30%.
Dandara, an established developer of industrial, retail and office schemes on the Isle of Man, knew exactly who to call to help it achieve this goal – Murton & Co.
“Murton & Co were recommended to us about eight or nine years ago and we have worked with the company on several projects ever since,” said Dandara’s Technical Director Darren Burns.
“Jonny, Murton & Co’s Managing Director, would always be one of our preferred consultants when we require an energy model for our commercial building projects.”
Jonny was instructed to do the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) calculations, which analyse a building’s energy consumption. He was also instructed to liaise with another consultant, who was carrying out the BREEAM assessment, which assesses, rates and certifies a building’s sustainability.
“Jonny created a model that showed such things as heat loss from the proposed building, how much solar heat would be generated through the windows and the required levels of insulation for roofs, walls and windows,” said Darren.
“He came up with 12 separate options to achieve a 32% energy reduction target. For example, he compared the effects of increasing insulation and weighing this up against alternative Low and Zero Carbon Technology options including photo-voltaic panels, combined heat and power plant, air source heat pumps and waste water heat recovery. This allowed us to value engineer and offer the end client a range of options for achieving their energy conservation targets.”
The services Murton & Co provided ensured the building achieved a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating – which was another requirement from Whitbread – and the development met its vital 32% energy improvement target.
“It was a real two-way process,” said Darren. “Jonny listened to us and understood our needs. He was flexible and showed commercial awareness in understanding that we wanted to achieve the product that our client wanted but in the most cost-effective way possible.”
The Isle of Man has a different set of Building Regulations to the UK but Whitbread wanted the energy savings of the Premier Inn to be more than 30% better than those that would be needed in a comparable building in the UK. To ensure this was achieved Murton & Co carried out SBEM calculations through the creation of a hypothetical model, siting the building in a location within the UK with a similar climate.
“Murton & Co’s willingness to trial and adapt the model to different ideas and options was what stood out for us,” said Darren. “You get a personal service – it’s not a case of just accepting the first solution which may not necessarily be the best solution. They will work with you to find you the best solution.”
The Premier Inn, which has 85 rooms, a restaurant and bar, opened for business in summer 2019 right in the heart of the retail and business district in Douglas. The low carbon building includes a range of air source heat pumps and 24 photo-voltaic panels.
“It is a nice, clean, white building. It has tidied up a former brownfield site and improves the amenity of the area,” said Darren. “People are complimentary about it and Whitbread are very pleased with the end product.”
And he was full of praise for the services provided by Murton & Co. “They worked with us, they were pro-active, flexible and showed perseverance as we strived to achieve the best performance and cost-effective outcome for the client.
“Jonny always shows a keen and enthusiastic interest in the tasks he is commissioned to undertake and has a real passion for his work.”