Orbis Energy, Lowestoft


15 October 2008

Sustainable Building Showcase is Energy Efficiency Gold Winner

A £9million flagship building and catalyst for the regeneration of Lowestoft’s waterfront has received an International Green Apple ‘Gold Winner’ award for Energy Efficiency. OrbisEnergy started on site in spring 2007, was completed on the 12 September and will be opened officially on 7 November 2008.

Multi-disciplinary practice Pick Everard was appointed under the Suffolk County Council ‘Capital Works Property Partnering Framework Agreement’ for detailed design work to carry forward the Feilden+Mawson concept design for OrbisEnergy. The building contractor was Wates Construction, also appointed under the Suffolk Framework.

Located 100m south of Ness Point - the most easterly point in the UK. The new building provides approximately 30,000 sq. ft of managed office space with conference and exhibition facilities for small to medium ‘start up’ businesses in the renewable energy industry.

Designed with a striking glass atrium over its reception, the five-storey structure is built on stilts providing secure undercroft car parking. Pick Everard applied its significant expertise in designing sustainable structures, using the latest Building Management Systems technology, to reduce energy use and carbon impact. Permeable rain-screen cladding and brise-soleil have been designed to guard against harsh seashore conditions and shade occupants from bright coastal sunshine. With ventilation/heat recovery, comfort cooling, wind-catchers for natural ventilation, solar thermal ‘tracker’ hot water heating and exposed internal concrete structure, year round temperature fluctuations are reduced, making the building energy efficient and self-regulating. Heating comes from a locally sourced woodchip biomass boiler and the building is designed to meet BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method) standards, reflecting its low environmental impact. Provision for future rainwater harvesting has also been included.

Pick Everard Architect Chris Gerrard comments, “We’re thrilled to see OrbisEnergy completed. At Pick Everard, we’re very focussed on designing new structures so that they will have much less impact on the environment in the future and at OrbisEnergy - from start to finish - sustainability has been high on our agenda.“

Pick Everard is the only external consultant appointed under Suffolk County Council’s five-year consultant framework agreement, covering the whole spectrum of the Council’s capital building programme works budget. The programme for 2009, currently awaiting confirmation,will include schools projects and an interesting mix of other local authority capital works and buildings.

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