Strategic design for Lingfield Point

A new partnership formed between Buro Happold and research, development and advice consultancy Archial Sustainable Futures will provide strategic design advice to property developer Marchday for its Lingfield Point development in Darlington.

Over the last decade Marchday has invested over £35m in the regeneration of Lingfield Point, transforming it from a dilapidated industrial estate into a new business community. The developer now intends to develop the site into a sustainable mixed community for homes and workplaces.

Working as part of the Carbon Trust’s Strategic Design Advice Service to deliver the strategy, the consortium has welcomed the opportunity to work on such a significant development and the chance to make a substantial difference to the development’s carbon output.

Mark Mulville, Sustainability Consultant at Archial Sustainable Futures, said: “As a fundamental factor of future development, Lingfield Point should be as sustainable as possible. Marchday originally sought such advice from the Carbon Trust which led in turn to our appointment as joint Strategic Design Advisors with the overall aim of minimising carbon emissions.”

Buro Happold’s Steven Cowan added: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with Marchday and the Carbon Trust to investigate the feasibility of a practical low carbon energy strategy for Lingfield Point. Sustainability has been a key driver to the regeneration of the site and we will look to maintain that momentum through this study.

A key strategic aim of the development proposals is the retention, renovation and re-use of the most prominent and characteristic elements of existing factory buildings along with the taller, iconic machine room buildings.

These landmark structures have been dubbed the Seven Sisters and will be converted into a variety of uses including apartments, offices and art space. Dotted across the site and linked by a series of pathways and water features, the Seven Sisters provide a series of relics of the old Patons & Baldwins wool factory through which the history of the site can be directly experienced.

Meanwhile The Woods, an area of new housing proposed at the north-western end of the site, will assume a village-like quality with individual and semi-detached cottage style homes dotted amongst trees. In the middle of The Woods is a special square dubbed The Secret Garden which will become the heart of this unique neighbourhood.

Mr Mulville said: “The consortium’s role is to review the existing master plan prior to the appointment of a full design team in order to offer advice and guidance regarding the most sustainable and low carbon options for the proposed developments with the aim of delivering 20-40% carbon reductions.”

Mr Cowan explained: “Our remit will include a comprehensive heat mapping exercise across the whole site and the analysis of appropriate medium to large scale renewable energy technologies as well as the option for a combined heat and power plant to feed a district heating network.”

The consortium has been appointed to provide strategic design advice for an initial four month project.

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