Wednesday, 11 March 2020 00:00

Skelly & Couch on Twickenham Riverside team

Leading building environment and services engineers Skelly & Couch are part of the preferred multidisciplinary team led by Hopkins Architects which has beaten four other contenders to develop Twickenham Riverside. 

Thursday, 29 August 2019 10:47

Marlborough College Science Centre

Refurbishment and update of Grade II-listed Science Buidling for historic boarding school.

Thursday, 09 May 2019 14:05

Polka Theatre

The original 40-year-old Polka Theatre in Wimbledon was the first UK theatre venue dedicated exclusively to children. This project features a refurbishment of the theatre with an added extension to the rear of the building led by Foster Wilson Size Architects.

Thursday, 09 May 2019 13:27

Mountbatten House

Heritage-led refurbishment and replacement of services in this iconic Grade II-listed office block.

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 14:42

New Temple Complex

The 559m² New Temple Complex by James Gorst Architects demonstrates an exemplar approach to passive design and long-term sustainability.


Situated within an 11.5-hectare estate in the South Downs National Park, the New Temple Complex is a multi-faith space comprising of healing chapels, a library, a multi-use lecture room, a kitchen and a visitor’s entrance foyer; all linked via an internal cloister. The temple holds symbolic elements reflecting the spiritual beliefs of the White Eagle Lodge and it occupies the same sacred spot as its 1970s predecessor. The building is completely framed in timber with clay brickwork encased in chalk lime mortar, all natural materials found in the immediate surroundings, encouraging a connection with the landscape.

The building’s environmental strategy is rooted in passive design principles, prioritising energy efficiency during the initial design phase. This approach includes low fabric heat loss, enhanced daylighting, and natural ventilation, forming the basis for the subsequent integration of low-carbon and renewable technologies.

The building fabric incorporates high-performance glazing exceeding conventional insulation standards, thereby effectively minimising heat loss. The New Temple's shallow, single-storey structure maximises daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Nestled away from noise and pollution, the temple enjoys the benefits of natural ventilation, further aided by high-level actuators strategically placed in the temple's clerestory.

Innovative sustainability features include a sub-floor ventilation system operational in high occupancy areas. This system uses the thermal mass of a labyrinth to provide tempered air in winter and free cooling in summer.

Overcoming challenges posed by the absence of natural gas infrastructure and the availability of only single-phase power, the project successfully procured a small low-carbon ground source heat pump meeting the needs of the entire building. Buried in the landscape, this technology extracts low-temperature energy from the ground, producing higher temperatures that serve underfloor heating throughout the temple. Pre-existing photovoltaic panels were repurposed and relocated to an open area on-site, partially powering the heat pump and providing the building with low-carbon electricity.

The New Temple Complex stands as a timeless space for contemplation and community, seamlessly blending spirituality, simple architecture, and sustainable design. Its harmonious integration with the surroundings embodies both peace and environmental stewardship.


In Numbers

On-site energy generation 4,550 kWh/yr
Heating and hot water load 19.73 kWh/m2/yr
Total energy load 42.60 kWh/m2/yr
Carbon emissions (all) 25.9 kgCO2/m2



Electrical and Lighting



RIBA South Awards – South Award Winner 2024
RIBA South Awards – Building of the Year Winner 2024
RIBA South Awards –  Sustainability Award Winner 2024
RIBA South Awards – Project Architect of the Year Winner 2024
Civic Trust Awards  – The National Panel Special Award Winner 2024
Civic Trust Awards  – The Special Award for Sustainability 2024
AJ Architecture Awards – Winners 2023
Wood Awards – Winners 2023

Download press coverage from right-hand column.

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 12:51

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

This project provides a new boarding house and hub building for Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, in Hertfordshire. The construction of a new boarding house will increase on-site accommodation, and the new hub building will provide a new reception, administration area, teaching and sixth form facilities for the school.

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 11:26

Windsor Walk

This project was the extensive refurbishment and reinstatement of six derelict Victorian terraced town houses in Denmark Hill, London. Four of the houses (numbers 6-9) were combined and converted into a 24-bedroom temporary accommodation unit, while the other two houses were redeveloped and sold as luxury 4-bedroom houses (numbers 10 and 11).

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 10:41

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre

Founded in 1975 inside a former Wesleyan Methodist church, Grade II-listed Jacksons Lane Arts Centre has played a key role in the development of London’s fringe and community theatre. The latest project upgrades technical and visitor facilities within the complex, which features a 166-capacity theatre, large-scale studio and café-bar, all of which were in need of repair.

Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:52

New College Court, Emmanuel College

A phased transformation of the Emmanuel College Site around three new landscaped courts.


New residential student blocks with 59 ensuite rooms, gyms, fellow flats, and a 50-space subterranean car park, plus the transformation of a Grade II listed building to provide seminar, teaching, office, bar and event spaces along with the rebuilding of the South Court Social Hub.


The project was Emmanuel College’s most significant development for over 100 years and was located in the heart of the Cambridge Historic Core Conservation Area, in close proximity to the College’s historic Grade I and Grade II listed buildings.  The aim was to redevelop a neglected part of the College site to create new facilities that enabled the College to meet its ambition to accommodate all undergraduate students on-site and for its community to mix, work and gather in new ways.  Skelly & Couch were appointed as both M&E engineers and sustainability consultants and undertook full design duties using BIM. 

From inception, Skelly & Couch worked closely with the architects to ensure the building massing and orientation was optimised to make best use of daylight and sunlight in all internal and external spaces.  The advantages and disadvantages of concrete and CLT frames were considered and GGBS concrete frame with timber internal partitions and highly insulated timber facades was chosen for its improved performance in terms of summertime overheating and acoustics. 

The system design included a number of energy and water saving measures such as mechanical ventilation and heat reclaim, rainwater recycling, Combined heat and power hot water heating, efficient LED lighting and controls.  The strategy also included the implementation of an open loop ground source heat pump system that takes water from the underlying Lower Greensand Formation and provides heating and cooling to all of the buildings in the South of the College.  It also includes an extensive 60kWp PV array on the South Court Building. 

All of these measures represented an 80% operational carbon controls, low flow water fittings and a large Photovoltaic Array on the roof that powers the communal spaces.

Driven by a vision to cultivate an interconnected community, Emmanuel College adds a contemporary layer to its historic setting while enhancing social and intellectual life and prioritising sustainability for future relevance.


Wednesday, 08 May 2019 09:07

National Theatre Costume Workshop

The existing 5th floor costume workshop department at the Grade II*-listed National Theatre is undergoing a full refurbishment to meet up-to-date compliance requirements and better meet the needs of the costume workshop users.

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