A showcase for the environment

The environmental division of White Young Green (WYG), consultants to the built, natural and social environment, has completed a year long project in Hull at the iconic arc building, a highly innovative, movable building designed for the Centre for the Built Environment.

Designed by London based Niall McLaughlin Architects, the arc is one of the UK’s network of Architecture Centres, and the building is used as a learning resource and public centre to champion good design and showcase building and environmental developments arising from the regeneration activities taking place in the Hull City Region.

WYG’s appointment by regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward, drew heavily on its substantial sustainability and environmental expertise which spans a wide range of design, monitoring and assessment capabilities.

With a brief to assess and enhance the sustainability performance of the new visitor centre, WYG was appointed to undertake a bespoke BREEAM assessment and to assess the embodied energy and whole life costing and water performance of the building. The scope of work also involved the development of a waste management plan to manage the construction and operation of the site.

Clare Shuttleworth, Manager of White Young Green’s Sustainability Bureau, was impressed by the design of the building which is currently being assessed for its sustainability performance by WYG. She commented: “With a dedicated team of sustainability experts throughout the UK, we have considerable experience in providing guidance on energy consumption, renewable energy technologies and the sustainability and life cycle performance of design.

“On the basis of our work at the arc building, our assessment report findings will be used by Yorkshire Forward to promote sustainable construction techniques to construction companies in the Yorkshire and Humber region.”

Stephen Brown, Sustainable Development Manager of Yorkshire Forward sees the completion of the arc as one more demonstration of Yorkshire Forward’s commitment to enhancing every day life in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. He added: “Our programme of urban and rural regeneration is creating vibrant and sustainable communities that attract and retain business, people and jobs. Yorkshire Forward wants the region to be a fantastic place to live and one where we respect and enhance our environment. The arc building is an embodiment of this vision, demonstrating the most advanced sustainable design and renewable technologies, so it is fitting that it will be used to showcase the very best building and environmental developments in the region.”

The arc building consists of five pre-fabricated caravan units engineered to be carbon neutral by generating the same amount of energy as the building uses through renewable sources. Heating is provided by a small carbon neutral wood pellet boiler, serving under floor heating circuits. Energy is generated by a mast-mounted array of 23 photovoltaic panels and 16 small wind turbines which form an eye catching ‘thicket’ in front of the insulated, semi-transparent lean-to roof.

In June the arc won a national RIBA award, and it has also received a design commendation from the American Institute of Architects.

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