11 October 2010
A new centre in Bridgwater, Somerset has been designed to the UK’s highest BREEAM rating ‘Outstanding’ and is currently achieving a rating of 87% at design stage for its environmental features - an accolade given only to the top examples of sustainable design.
The multi-use development replaces the existing building, operated by Bridgwater YMCA Foyer, who commissioned international consultancy WYG to provide a range of specialist infrastructure and advisory services, in partnership with local architect Smith Gamblin.
The YMCA is a leading Christian charity reaching out to over 1 million young people each year, working with them at every stage of their lives and offering support when and where they need it most.
To achieve a status of this calibre the building excelled in the majority of environmental categories within BREEAM - (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings around the world. The building design includes passive measure utilising natural ventilation and night time cooling combined with, but not limited to, a biomass boiler, provision of a wind turbine, water detection and rainwater harvesting.
Andrew Griffiths, Technical Director, WYG said: “This building is exciting in that it shows the direction we are travelling with sustainable design. It is energy efficient, uses natural ventilation and re-uses water.
“We have worked closely with Bridgwater YMCA Foyer to identify what brings the best cost benefit not just to the YMCA and local community but to the environment as a whole.”
The four million pound project known as ‘YMCA Bridgwater multi-use centre’ will provide a state of the art facility for the Bridgwater community. Amenities in the new building include a new sports hall complete with climbing wall, new ICT facilities, a new gym together with a fitness studio, and new administration offices for Bridgwater YMCA Foyer.
Martin Hodgson, Chief Executive, Bridgwater YMCA Foyer commented: “The technology used throughout the development supports the ongoing sustainability of the YMCA as a provider of positive activities for young people.”
The BREEAM assessment was carried out by Inbuilt with close liaison with WYG. Victoria Burrows, Sustainable Design Consultant, Inbuilt Ltd said: “The redevelopment at Bridgwater YMCA Foyer has successfully captured the principles of sustainable design. From the early design stages, the concept of reducing the building’s energy demand has been central: through the specification of thermally efficient building fabric, natural ventilation strategies and efficient lighting systems. This allows for the selection of fuel to be the most efficient and appropriate for the building users, reducing the fuel bills and increasing comfort of the building in operation.
“Issues such as water efficiency, natural daylighting and ventilation, responsible management of the construction process, re-use of waste materials, transport facilities, recycling, protecting the adjacent canal, and efficient heating and lighting controls are included, and have led to a target rating of OUTSTANDING for the YMCA Bridgwater multi-use centre and all contribute towards a building that will be fit for use for generations to come.”
WYG provided its expertise in civil & structural, mechanical & electrical, acoustics, geo-environmental, traffic & transport and ecological services.
The building is also on target to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A with the inclusion of energy efficiency and low carbon technologies. The project started on site in August 2009 and is scheduled for final completion in December 2010 although doors will open to the public in early October 2010.
Caption: The new youth centre in Bridgwater