Client: Wirral Watkin Jones Location: Central Quay, Cardiff Project: BTR Scheme Mechanical Services Project Manager: Paul Davies Project Value: £6.7m
Central Quay is a Watkin Jones BTR Scheme on old Brains Brewery site in Cardiff.
The scheme, includes two interlinked 23 storey towers which will create 718 apartments of 1,2 or 3 bedrooms. All will have access to facilities such as a concierge, lobby, gym, gardens, roof gardens and terraces, as well as nearly 20,000 sq ft of leisure and retail space.
The development is being delivered to a significantly higher spec than any previous build we have seen in the BTR sector and features some very high tech heating, ventilation and hot water solutions.
The first of these is the 200 litre Internal heat pump cylinders. These apartments have been designed for long term living and as such, the solution is a genuinely practical one that allows a realistic amount of water for a family. It does this by minimising waste water, reusing waste heat and harnessing heat pump technology to deliver plentiful, low carbon hot water.
Designed to save installation time
From the outset, we designed the system inside the apartments to allow all of this to be pre-constructed and piped off site, so installation times will be greatly reduced. The quality of self contained pods has improved exponentially over recent years and these raise the bar further again. They will house the cylinder and expansion vessel as well as creating a home for the washing machine and airing space, even in the smallest apartments. They’ll be built and connected using copper pipe throughout too, so they are being built to last.
On the ventilation, the apartments will have a Multi Extract vent (MEV) system, linked to a heat recovery system (NVHR) to minimise waste and improve efficiency across the board. These ensure any heat generated is cleaned and recycled, again to minimise carbon impact and running costs.
Fire safety in towers
Safety, and fire safety in particular, is critical in any project but particularly so when there are two neighbouring 23 storey towers. The twin piped Wet Riser, linked to the sprinkler system, created to help with a potential fire, is a real monster.
At its heart is a 67,500 litre reinforced GRP Tank in the basement plant room./ this is connected to a 90 kW pump system, that draws 128 amps when in full flow. When required, it can deliver 750 litres per MINUTE and would empty half of this gigantic tank in 45 minutes. To put this into context, it could fill an olympic sized swimming pool in just over two days.
As the fill time from the town main would normally be 36 hours, it shows you the huge capacity to deliver water to the location of a fire, when it’s needed. As a back up, and to help with an urgent refill, there’s also an inlet option to take water from a fire service pumper. On average in the UK, these hold around 1,800 litres.
Overall, it’s a superb project and one we are absolutely delighted to be involved with. It feels like the standard in BTR is being raised again and if this is what the next generation of BTR looks like, then it has a very bright future.
Kimpton have delivered nearly 12,000 PBSA and BTR rooms across the UK from Canterbury to London, Liverpool and Chester. We’re experts in Low energy, low carbon solutions for the BTR and PBSA sectors.
Talking about the appointment, Tim Davis, General Manager of Kimpton Ltd said “We have worked with the team at Watkins Jones since the early days of student accommodation and BTR properties and have a great track record of working together and delivering exceptional schemes. This one is a bit special however and has the potential to become one of our biggest ever projects. So, as you can imagine, we’re excited and looking forward to getting on site and getting underway”