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Beaufort Court at Kings Langley is the headquarters of RES (Renewable Energy Systems) Group, who converted the original 1930s poultry farm to 2,665m2 of sustainable office accommodation in 2003. The site originally supplied eggs to the nearby Ovaltine factory, but fell into disrepair after production ceased in the 1960s. The farm originally comprised a horseshoe shaped barn, a coach house and seven hectares of land. The original buildings have been retained and the ground floor has been extended into the courtyard using steel a frame with a green roof.


A number of integrated energy efficient and renewable technologies have been incorporated to meet all energy requirements on site, with no associated emissions.

Passive solar - Large windows and rooflights are used throughout the development. Deciduous trees have been planted to take advantage of passive solar energy while avoiding overheating.

Solar energy - 54m2 of hybrid photovoltaic solar thermal panels and 116m2 of solar thermal panels provide both heat and electricity to the offices.

Underground heat store - Excess heat in summer is moved to the underground store, which consists of 1,400m3 of water covered by a floating insulated lid. From autumn through to spring, the stored heat is used to pre-heat the air supplied to the offices via the mechanical ventilation system.

Wind turbine - A 225 kW 50m high wind turbine produces twice the annual amount of electricity required on the site, with the excess exported to the National Grid.

Borehole cooling - Water is taken from an aquifer via a 75m borehole and is first used to cool the ventilation air supply. The water is then circulated through chilled beams in the offices, before finally being used to irrigate the biomass crops.

Biomass - Energy crops are grown and harvested on site to fuel the 100kW biomass boiler. 

Project team

  • Renewable Energy Systems (RES)
  • Studio E Architects
  • Max Fordham LLP
  • Esbensen Consulting Engineers
  • Shell Solar Energy B.V.
  • Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN)

Further information