10 August 2011
The new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland has achieved an ‘excellent’ rating of 74 per cent in accordance with the UK’s BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method).
Engineering specialists from global consultancy WYG were commissioned by the National Trust to provide advice on the redevelopment which replaces the existing building. The project offers exhibition space, a cafe, kitchen, retail space and staff areas to replace temporary accommodation on site.
WYG provided expertise on the civil engineering design of the centre from the feasibility/planning stage through to site supervision, including road and drainage advice, incorporating sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs).
Paul Cooke, Associate Director, WYG said: “This building is exciting as it a clear example of the direction we are travelling with sustainable design. It is energy efficient and with the building being set into the ground with only two external walls to the outside and the use of soil and grass covering the roof it is aesthetically pleasing and compliments its surroundings.
“We have worked closely with the National Trust together with the wider multi-disciplinary design team to identify value for money solutions and sustainable development not just for the benefit of the National Trust and local community but for the environment as a whole.”
Graham Thompson, National Trust Project Director said: “We are thrilled to have received our first award for the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. For this concrete building, in a sensitive rural location with all the limitations regarding space, to secure an excellent rating from BREEAM is simply brilliant news. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and securing this rating is such a feather in the projects cap. In a sense what we are trying to achieve is a building which the National Trust and indeed the local community can be proud of for many years to come. To achieve an excellent rating is such a boost to all involved in this project.
“The development of the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has successfully captured the principles of sustainable design. WYG worked closely with the project team and National Trust to ensure that the project achieved the requirements of such a unique project whilst tailoring deliverables to our specific needs and maintaining cost effectiveness for the required design elements.”
Photo caption: Giant's Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland