Attenborough Nature Reserve
Groundworks Architects were selected by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to design this visitor centre for their Attenborough Nature Reserve through a limited competition. The scheme is built on a sensitive site which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the design meets the complex requirements this entails. It is also on a floodplain and is built on “stilts” to sit above the 100yr flood level.
The client was keen that the building should be an environmental exemplar and it has been designed to be carbon neutral, in so far as it generates as much power as it uses. The scheme incorporates a large array of photovoltaics to generate power, takes heat from the lake to heat the building and uses solar panels to preheat the tap water. Systems in the building have been specified to have low energy and low water usage.
The materials in the building have also been selected to be as environmentally responsible as possible; all timber is from managed sources, PVC usage has been avoided wherever possible, paint/varnish finishes are kept to a minimum and are to a green specification. The buildings envelope is designed to be maintainance free. Completion: March 2005 Construction cost: approx £1.2m
Attenborough Nature Reserve Visitors Centre has won national and regional RIBA Awards and a RICS Award for sustainability.