An exemplar project BREEAM ‘excellent’ rated office building on the site of the former Ebbw Vale Steelworks
Funded as part of an Interreg IVB EU demonstration project encouraging low energy and sustainable design in industrial building, the Blaenau Gwent Regain building is a 500sqm business incubator unit situated in a large development project on the site of the former Ebbw Vale Steelworks. The £1.25m facility was designed to be an exemplar project BREEAM excellent rated building.
A number of low carbon technologies were explored during the design stage of this building together with high performance and sustainable construction materials. Design decisions were informed at each stage by the output of a range of prediction tools, providing a parametric style sensitivity analysis. Detailing was critical to the finish of the design. The resulting building has a very high performance envelope, with a very good natural lighting conditions together with low predicted energy consumption and low embodied energy utilising many locally sourced materials.
The superstructure was completed using Durisol blocks made from recycled timber, concrete infill and integral insulation, clad externally with castellated and locally sourced sweet chestnut vertical timber sections to create a modular appearance along its facade. The roof was formed using timber SIPS with Baduer green roof system located above. A bike shelter/bin store was created on the site to compliment the main building design with similar detailing on which 53sqm of PV is located to form the roof canopy. Sustainable technologies included air source heat pumps, solar thermals, photo-voltaic panels, electric car charging points, natural ventilation and day lighting.
This high performance has been achieved without the use of sophisticated systems with high embodied energy, and unnecessary operational and maintenance complexities, and also without compromising design.