Excellence in Engineering


Marsh Farm

Crofton has recently completed work on Futures House, a new community project for the Marsh Farm Estate in Luton; providing community facilities and services, community healthcare accommodation, Business Enterprise Hub, retail outlets and an indoor playground.  

he project was funded through the New Deals for Communities initiative and was a key component of the regeneration master plan for the Marsh Farm Estate. The main function of the building is to provide a Multi Agency accommodation for enhanced social services, healthcare facilities and a business enterprise hub for new businesses and social enterprises. This project was one of the first sites to be developed within the overall regeneration master plan for Marsh Farm Estate, which comprises new housing, a retail centre, new education and leisure facilities.

Originally envisaged as a refurbishment of an existing factory building; the scheme evolved, during the feasibility stages, into a new build development. This allowed the design to better fulfil the brief of each user group within a dynamic, modern and thoroughly sustainable community building. The project utilised modern materials and construction techniques and the use of renewable energy sources such as solar thermal heating, combined heating and power, water conservation and recycling.

Crofton played a pivotal role in advising on the suitability and capacity of the existing building structure and services infrastructure both in terms of reuse and temporary works associated with the phased demolition / temporary accommodation strategy for the site as a whole. We also undertook preliminary structural engineering assessments into the feasibility of using the existing elevated car park deck to support temporary staff accommodation.

As registered Low Carbon Consultants, we provided detailed technical design for the sustainable technologies being incorporated into the scheme. For example, we considered opportunities to lower emissions throughout the project and this led to the development of a biomass boiler system, one of the most energy efficient ways to heat a building.

The ventilation system in the atrium area of the building is a particularly interesting feature; it is entirely dependent on the temperature and carbon dioxide levels inside Futures House. If the temperature or carbon dioxide levels in the building are too high, the high level windows open automatically. Likewise, if the temperature gets too low or if the outdoor wind speed is too high, the windows close automatically.