The Old Waterworks

Conversion of a Victorian pumphouse and buried reservoir for holiday let accommodation.






December 2023

The Pump House building had been derelict for a number of decades and required a full renovation, including new roof and masonry repairs to a number of the windows. The client asked us to consider the possibility of introducing a mezzanine floor to create additional bedroom space, making the project more commercially viable, which we were able to accommodate in the design.

The Reservoir, with its buttressed masonry walls and vaulted concrete roof, was a completely different challenge. A robust but enclosed structure, a number of interventions are needed to make this a welcoming and habitable environment for guests.

The front south-facing elevation is to be removed and replaced with glazing to bring light into the space. Steel beams will be installed to support the roof structure where the current masonry wall is removed. Furthermore, our Structural engineers developed an innovative design solution to remove an internal column to create a large open living area which will be centred around a dramatic hung column.

To create bedroom space, a timber framed extension has been erected to the rear of the reservoir. Constructing in timber has allowed us to limit the embodied carbon of the project meeting both the clients and our environmental goals in the process.

The client at The Old Waterworks had sustainability at the top of their agenda. Our Environmental Building Services engineers facilitated this by exploring the energy source possibilities from the more traditional (gas and electric resistance) to modern technologies (renewables).

Although Air Source Heat Pumps are becoming increasingly popular and the go to for decarbonised electricity, due to the land available on the site, an opportunity to utilise a Ground Source Heat Pump offered value to the client. 600 horizontal loops were laid over 250m2, providing sufficient heating and hot water for the Pump House and Reservoir buildings.

To minimise energy expenditure for this project, we specified the building element details to be close to Passivhaus standard and conducted checks for interstitial condensation.

To ensure the feature south-facing glazed wall enhanced occupants experience rather than cause excessive temperatures, irritable glare or cold draughts, we conducted detailed analysis and provided a number of solutions (mainly passive i.e. zero energy) to suit the clients budget and brief.

Upon completion, the Old Waterworks will bring a once disused industrial site back into use providing luxury eco-friendly (and unconventional!) holiday accommodation.

Skyhooks Engineering completely understood our aspirations in retaining the heritage status of the buildings whilst respecting the architectural design and desire to build to Passivhaus standards. They came up with innovative solutions and were really approachable with friendly and considered advice.
Client at The Old Waterworks