Sidmouth community centre has ecological features

Natural materials and light for new Stowford Rise community centre

THIS artist’s image is of Stowford Rise Community and Children’s Centre, currently under construction in Sidmouth by Pollards of Bridgwater, Somerset.

Architects Studio OK, from Okehampton, are working in partnership with Devon County Council and consultants NPS South West Ltd., to produce the centre.

The design creates a scheme with strong ecological and sustainability features, making the centre a pleasant environment both inside and out.

The building was designed to obtain as much natural light as feasible with all the spaces being naturally ventilated.

Clerestory windows to the main hall and to the entrance foyer will promote ‘stack effect’ passive ventilation obviating the need for air conditioning or ventilation systems that would normally be required for buildings of this type.

Its timber frame will be highly insulated, airtight and sustainable and will significantly reduce build times.

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External cladding is mainly cedar boarding from south west woodlands, with standing seam colour coated steel cladding in specific areas. A clay tile roof will top this.

Many natural materials will be used inside rather than PVC or vinyl, including waterborn paints and stains.

There will be under-floor heating with an efficient condensing boiler system, which will reduce running costs.

The latest low energy fittings will be used for lighting and provision has been made for the later installation of solar photo voltaic panels, by the Community Group to reduce running costs further.

The scheme has been designed so that if a band is playing within the main hall, the noise will be absorbed by the building construction to prevent any nuisance to neighbouring properties.