Residential Links

The apartment

As well as offices, the building also boasts a self-contained two-bedroomed duplex apartment on the first and second floors. When first built as a doctor's surgery in 1950, the upstairs provided accommodation for the doctor's family, and later was the home for caretakers when the practice grew.

When the practice moved to new premises on Smithdown Road, the building was used by the NHS for mostly administrative purposes, and the previously residential rooms used for offices. The Eco Office conversion has reinstated its residential use.

At ground level, the apartment has its own entrance to a vestibule (plenty of space for coats, bikes and boots!) and stairs to the first-floor landing. At the front is the spacious south-facing lounge, with its double-glazed windows to provide a barrier against external noise. The kitchen/diner has an east-facing window, and fitted cupboards and work surfaces. At the back are the bathroom and separate WC, and bedroom 1. Bedroom 2 is on the second floor, in what was the loft, with 3 roof-lights provding plenty of natural light. The whole apartment is generously sized and airy.  

Ventilation is provided by a heat recovery unit operating continuously in the kitchen, closable apertures in the two chimney breasts using the 'passive stack' principle to circulate air, and opening windows.  The use of hydroscopic Cornish china clay plaster on many of the walls controls moisture content and prevents condensation, for example when drying clothes inside in the winter months.

The apartment takes very little in the way of heating, with high levels of roof and wall insulation, and heat rising from the offices below. A solar thermal installation provides much of the hot water, with temperatures topped up by a small gas central heating system, so running costs are very low.  A separate PV system using solar tiles integrated into the tiled roof generates almost twice the apartment's requirement for electricity over the course of the year.