This scheme is for a new single storey Education and Visitors Centre to promote and encourage outdoor and environmental learning, located within High Elms Country Park, Farnborough, Kent. There was a clearly defined budget and programme.
The new centre is a single storey building, with a load bearing timber frame structure and straw bales to form the external walls. The grass roof integrates the building with the natural environment of the nature reserve. Energy saving measures including re-active lighting, sun-pipes for natural light and waterless urinals, along with a bio-mass boiler were utilised.
From early design stages Frankham worked closely with the client team, to understand their exact brief requirements and undertake feasibility options. We went on visits to local community and nature centres with the client, to look at precedents. This process and early research informed the scheme design development, to become such a bespoke building. Due to the proposed centre being within a public country park, various types of
careful liaison with a variety of end user groups has also been undertaken by Frankham.
The sustainable approach influenced the design process from the outset and the way the building is used and run in the future. The layout design, choice of building materials and methods, the conservation of energy in the build process and in the running of the building to ensure long term energy and economic savings have all been part of this approach.
During the construction process, we facilitated a number of site inspections from local groups to give an insight into the materials and construction techniques and this continues through the permanent exhibition on display within the building intended to inform the local community.