Upton Square

  • Ultra-sustainable housing development, meeting Code 6 for Sustainable Homes.
  • Innovative systems for temperature control and ventilation.
  • Winner of UK Green Building Council ‘Sustainable Development of the Year’ 2009.

Arup provided a range of engineering and design services for this groundbreaking phased development of mixed-tenure homes, in association with Metropolitan Housing Partnership and Mansell.

The concept blends private housing, affordable homes for first-time buyers and social housing. The scheme design applies sustainable materials selection and ‘ultrasustainable’ principles and technologies.

Building physics for heating and ventilation

Arup’s building physics team played an important role in this project. Exposed thermal mass combined with super-insulation and exemplary air-tightness levels were critical to minimising active heat input. South-facing sun spaces encourage passive heat gain.

Ventilation is provided using either ultra-low-energy fan units with heat recovery efficiency of over 95%, or tracking wind-cowls at roof level.

Some houses have ground-source heat pumps, and many apartments are served by extract air-sourced heat pump units that remove heat from ‘wetrooms’ and convert it into usable heat.

Water conservation

Water conservation measures include ultra-low-consumption appliances throughout, water butts in back gardens and buried rainwater harvesting tanks.

In addition to achieving an EcoHomes ‘Excellent’ rating, the scheme also achieved the UK’s first occupied ‘Code 6’ under the Code for Sustainable Homes grading system.

The UK Green Building Council awarded Upton Square the Sustainable Development of the Year award (projects under £2m) in 2009.


Design 2010 - Arup's Design Yearbook
  • Upton Square, street of houses with rooftop cowls. Credit ZEDFactory.Open gallery

    Arup provided a range of engineering and design services for this ‘ultrasustainable’ housing development.