Exterior of the Hicks block
Exterior of the Bolton-Bond House

Housing Project

South Kilburn–Hicks & Bolton-Bond House

Catalyst Housing Group
Hester Architects

The Development

Forming part of the South Kilbern regeneration project this scheme consists of 64 single-storey flats and two-storey duplexes split between two blocks.

Centralised Systems

Both blocks are supplied with heating and hot water from a communal system fired by high efficiency condensing gas boilers within a centralised plant room. Heat interface units within each flat connect to this communal system to provide heating and domestic hot water to the property. Provision for future connection to a planned wider district heating network has also been provided.

The central plant room also contains storage tanks and booster sets for supplying cold water mains to the dwellings. Rainwater is collected from the block roofs into underground tanks and from there into a holding tank within the plant room. The harvested rainwater is used to flush WCs within the dwellings. The internal layout of the larger block is such that access to flats is by numerous isolated communal entrances and staircases which provided a challenging situation to provide service routes within limited space.


Each block has photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof to harvest energy from the sun. The electricity produced by these panels is fed back into the communal systems to power central plant items, communal space lighting, and the like. Any surplus electricity generated is sold back to the national grid.

Green Dwellings

To reduce energy usage the dwellings are designed to have low heat loss walls and glazing. Centralised mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is supplied to each flat. The district heating scheme supplies all hot water needs and the radiators within each unit. An energy display device allows occupants to easily check their energy use, encouraging reductions through user interaction.