The Pines Calyx Community and Conference Centre

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A community and conference centre located in landscaped gardens, set in the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the white cliffs of Dover. Designed to combine outstanding energy efficiency with a healthy indoor environment. Use of local materials was of paramount importance, not just because of difficult site access, but to minimise pollution and transportation and promote local suppliers.
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The Pines Calyx Community and Conference Centre : Project images

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CO2 emissionsPrimary energy requirement
Energy target

Energy and fuel use

Fuel use by type
Primary energy requirement
CO2 emissions

Measured data from renewable generation is not yet available.

Fuel use

Electricity use - 6400 kWh/yr -
Natural gas use- 4800 kWh/yr -
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement - 73 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions - 16 kg CO₂/m².yr -
Annual space heat demand - 12 kWh/m².yr -

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Renewables Technology--
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
73 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation
16 kg CO₂/m².yr -

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target AECB Gold
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load -


Pre-development air permeability test--
Final air permeability test--

Project description

Start date01 April 2005
Occupation date14 September 2007
Location St Margarets Bay, Dover Kent  England
Build typeNew build
Building sectorPublic
Property typeDetached
Construction typeOther
Other construction typeExternally insulated rammed chalk
Party wall construction
Floor area 295
Floor area calculation method Treated Floor Area (PHPP)
Building certification

Project Team

OrganisationConker Conservation Ltd
Project lead personPaul Mallion
Landlord or ClientThe St Margarets Bay Trust
ArchitectIssy Benjamin/Helionix Design/Conker Conservation Ltd
Mechanical & electrical consultant David Olivier, Energy Advisory Associates
Energy consultantConservation Engineering Ltd
Structural engineerCameron Taylor
Quantity surveyor
ConsultantLighting Design House
ContractorEco-Librium Solutions Ltd

Design strategies

Planned occupancy
Space heating strategy
Water heating strategy
Fuel strategy
Renewable energy strategy
Passive Solar strategy
Space cooling strategyEarth cooling tube consisting of 30m long buried 600mm diameter concrete pipe running around perimeter of building and terminating in plant room.
Daylighting strategyWindows distributed around perimeters on south sides, glazed oculus to each of main spaces and large lenticular rooflight over stairs and entrance foyer. Daylight factor of ........
Ventilation strategy
Airtightness strategy
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges
Modelling strategy
Insulation strategy
Other relevant retrofit strategies
Contextual information

Building services

OccupancyUpper Roundel 100 seated Lower Roundel 95 seated Seminar room 30 seated.
Space heatingPerimeter circuit of underfloor heating, consisting of only 4 pipes, running below windows and doors. Low temperature hot water is fed into the circuit via a heat main. The heating demand is so low that the hot water is temporarily supplied by tapping into a radiator in a nearby cottage. This will be replaced by a small woodchip boiler serving the heat main, fed by chips created on site from woodland and landscape management.
Hot waterSolar cylinder heated from heat main. Secondary hot water return with pump powered by motion sensor.
VentilationPrimary system is displacement ventilation, fresh air is fed into wainscot ducting in each of the main rooms at low speed. Stale air is extracted from the high point of the roof domes, which is returned to the plant room and passed through a glass tube heat exchanger. This unit was purpose made for the malting industry, dismantled and reassembled here by the services engineers. Low power 24v fans are used. Fresh air is introduced via an earth cooling tube described below. Stale air is also extracted from WC's and kitchen and seminar room, fresh air is supplied to seminar room and WC lobby. Openable windows and (yet to be completed) openable rooflights will allow natural ventilation during warmer weather or high occupancy.
ControlsPurpose made electronic control system operating the ventilation fans, electrically operated windows and rooflights, with temperature and humidity sensors and timers. Sophisticated computer controlled lighting system with multiple scenes available from light switch.
CookingElectric cooker
LightingMain rooms have a 3 colour fluorescent lamps, red, green and blue. The computer control system can vary the power output of each lamp, changing colour and mood as well as intensity.
Renewable energy generation systemPhotovoltaic thermal system by Invicta Clean Energy.
Strategy for minimising thermal bridgesPassivhaus principles followed for detailing with assistance from David Olivier. Windows supported on 25mm thick ply linings suspended in the insulation layer. Careful use of Compriband sealing tapes and compressible foam strips.

Building construction

Storeys 2
Volume 1212
Thermal fabric area 1030
Roof description Timbrel or 'Catalan' vault, 120mm thick constructed from 3 layers of Gault clay tiles, first ever built in UK. 240mm of polyurethane foam insulation, Erisco Bauder built up roofing system protected by thick fleece. Minimum of 300mm soil laid on roof using cellular grid embankment reinforcement system. Planted with local species.
Roof U-value 0.10 W/m² K
Walls description Rammed chalk excavated on site, self finish internally. Externally applied tanking membrane. Externally insulated with 200mm of polystyrene, finished with lime render. Where below ground level a drainage/protection layer applied linked to a land drain.
Walls U-value 0.12 W/m² K
Party walls description n/a
Party walls U-value -
Floor description 300mm concrete raft foundation sitting on 150mm Foamglas, totally isolating floor from a concrete blinding applied over the chalk sub-base. 25mm thick insulation installed below underfloor heating pipes. 125mm thick floor screed with Wrigley fibre reinforcement.
Floor U-value 0.33 W/m² K
Glazed doors description Doors are Vrogum double glazed timber units as weight of TG units was too great for disabled access.
Glazed doors U-value 1.40 W/m² K uninstalled
Opaque doors description Vrogum insulated panel
Opaque doors U-value 1.10 W/m² K uninstalled
Windows description Passivhaus certified windows obtained via Ecomerchant Ltd Faversham Kent, manufactured by Winter, wood/cork laminates triple glazed. Units alternate between fixed, manual opening, electric opening.
Windows U-value 0.74 W/m² K uninstalled
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) 0.53 %
Windows light transmittance -
Rooflights description Quad glazed acrylic/polycarbonate domes on insulated GRP upstands, purpose made by Whitesales Ltd.
Rooflights light transmittance 0.42%
Rooflights U-value 1.20 W/m² K

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