Project of the Year – Public Use
Awarded for the new build of a public building that most effectively demonstrates high levels of user satisfaction and comfort while delivering outstanding measured building performance, including – but not limited to – education, healthcare, leisure and other government and local authority buildings.
Winner: The Engine Shed, Scotland’s Building Conservation Centre – Max Fordham
In handing The Engine Shed the Public Use Project of the Year award, the BPA judges recognised Max Fordham for its extremely thorough attention to detail and commitment to a two-year aftercare period.
The judges were impressed by the project’s rounded approach to sustainability – taking in material, energy and human aspects – and the long-term view of the development.
Scotland’s new building conservation centre is housed in a redundant Ministry of Defence train shed with new-build wings. It is not only a visitor attraction, but also a space for learning about the skills and materials required to build, conserve and maintain traditional buildings.
Traditional skills and natural, low carbon materials such as stone and reclaimed timber were used in the construction, while passive design measures, including natural daylighting and natural ventilation, help provide a healthy, comfortable environment.
The post-occupancy evaluation (POE) at the end of year one showed that high comfort levels had been achieved in practice as well as design, and these were improved by monitoring temperature and CO2 levels in the aftercare period. Even during the summer 2018 heatwave, the natural ventilation in the East and Main sheds was effective, as confirmed by the POE, a site visit and the BMS review.
The Engine Shed is designed for deconstruction and future flexibility, and a materials hierarchy – reclaimed, recycled and new (local) – was used to minimise waste.
As well as flexible working spaces, the building has excellent acoustics that received very positive comments from occupants during feedback. There have also been opportunities for community engagement and education during construction and in-use, including use of local labour and apprenticeships.
One judge was impressed by the ‘people focus’ of Max Fordham’s entry, and added that ‘the sustainability matrix, Soft Landings implementation, building user guide and quarterly reporting were all exemplary’.
Another added: ‘The team significantly reduced building base loads, refined comfort and ensured the building was operating at its optimum. It sets a shining example of project delivery that doesn’t need to end at handover.’
Building services and brief consultant: Max Fordham
Building owner, occupier, project manager, quantity surveyor and facilities manager: Historic Environment Scotland
Architect: Reiach and Hall Architects; Historic Environment Scotland
Mechanical/electrical engineering contractor: Parker Technical Services
Main contractor: ESH Construction
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