<span>Brockholes</span><span>
visitor</span><span>centre</span>

Brockholes visitor centre

Brockholes Visitor Centre

The Brockholes Visitor Centre is made up of a ‘floating world’ of small structures on an island of pontoons for the Brockholes Wetlands Nature Reserve, near Preston. This site-sensitive design provides flood protection - essential given that it is sited within 127 hectares of mixed wetlands and ancient woodlands.

Innovation is intrinsic to the project’s success. The building’s extremely high environmental performance has been made possible by incorporating a raft of energy and carbon reducing measures. In turn the centre has been awarded BREEAM Outstanding (Design Stage) and achieved an A rating for its Energy Performance Certificate.

Whole-building, embodied-energy analysis was undertaken which resulted in specifying materials of low embodied energy, such as structural timber and oak roofing shakes. The environmental strategy also included natural ventilation throughout, state of the art insulation and glazing, rigorous draught proofing, grey water use and a biomass boiler.

Architect

Adam Khan Architects

Value

£6M

Completion

2011

Client

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Ioana Marinescu Info
Rainwater runs off the buildings and pontoon straight into the surrounding lake. In turn water is pumped from the lake for WC flushing.
Ioana Marinescu Info
All the main spaces receive exceptional levels of daylight from windows and rooflights. The daylight was carefully modelled to help achieve this.
Ioana Marinescu Info
Translucent windows conceal interstitial filaments that provide solar shading and insulation. The heavy duty air handling plant serves a commercial kitchen and is integrated within the roof architecture.
Ioana Marinescu Info
External awnings provide summer shade. Their projection away from the window means unimpeded ventilation and views. They retract in winter, enabling internal space to receive maximum daylight and passive solar heating.
Ioana Marinescu Info
The windows utilise bespoke joinery with thermal breaks and the highest specification of double glazing available. This has resulted in a facade of exceptional thermal and daylight performance. Large sections of window also slide open to provide summer ventilation to densely occupied spaces.
Ioana Marinescu Info
To keep the vaulted roof space clear of obstructions, the building services have been designed to run through a floor trench system.
Ioana Marinescu Info
The ceiling surface finish is a spray on acoustic absorber designed to reduce reflected sound, producing a comfortable acoustic environment.

The Brockholes Visitors Centre sits on a floating platform. Being on the water brings visitors right up to the wildlife and also provides a solution to the site's inherent flood risk.

Image: Ioana Marinescu

Architect

Adam Khan Architects

Value

£6M

Completion

2011

Client

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

2012 Building Awards - Sustainable Project of the Year

See all awards