With the opening of Cornwall Council's new offices in Bodmin, the dual aims of reducing public expenditure whilst integrating and improving vital services took a step forward. The new three storey, £15m construction will consolidate a mixed portfolio of up to nine leased and owned buildings, scattered over a wide geographic area. Additional savings are hoped to be made on transport and energy.
In addition to council staff, the offices will also be shared with other providers, maximizing opportunities for cost savings. The new facilities at Beacon Technology Park, on the western side of Bodmin, have been in development for some time with significant work commencing over ten years ago to clear derelict buildings from the 17 acre site. The site was formerly home to the St Lawrence Hospital and the architecturally-interesting Carew Building has been preserved.
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Coupling energy efficiency with imaginative design, St Ives based architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole selected Euroclad's Vieo system to achieve an overall U-value of 0.15W/m²K, well inside the Part L notional specification of 0.26W/m²K for walls and 0.18 W/m²K for roofs.
Set on a diagonal with a tight radius from the vertical to horizontal areas this was a pioneering design for this highly adaptable and cost effective cladding and roofing system. The building concept is based around two office wings, with the hinge point a prominent glazed main entrance. Large overhangs minimise summer solar gain whilst permitting useful winter gains.
In order to benefit from cross flow natural ventilation, each of the office wings are around 13.5 m wide, giving optimal cooling. Further carbon reduction methods include rain water recycling and a number of photovoltaic panels to the roof areas.
During construction, main contractors BAM was subjected to two major site safety inspections. Usually these go unmentioned, however it was a credit to everyone onsite that this was described by the industry's independent Considerate Constructors' Scheme (CCS) inspector as 'exceptional' scoring it 9 out of 10 for safety.
In a later inspection, Cornwall Council’s own site safety inspector described it as, "The safest construction site I've inspected currently operating in Cornwall." We share our congratulations to BAM and specialist cladding contractor Progressive Systems achieving such high praise.
|Architect||Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole|
|Colours||Copper Patina Duragloss|