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Keynsham Civic Centre & One Stop Shop

Keynsham Civic Centre & One Stop Shop

Education & Public Sector

Location: Keynsham, Somerset

Client/Owner: Bath & North East Somerset Council

Architect: AHR

Structural Engineer: Hydrock

Main Contractor/Builder: Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd

Structural Frame Contractor: B & K Structures

Wood Supplier: Junckers, Krone

Wood Species: Spruce, Oak

Keynsham Civic Centre and One Stop Shop for Bath and North East Somerset Council consists of 68,000sqft council offices above retail space. In addition to proving the Council with high quality offices the project is on course to be one of the lowest energy consuming public buildings in the UK and is almost carbon neutral.

An innovative CLT, steel and concrete structure decreased construction time and creates bright and welcoming interiors and reduces heating requirements. The floor slabs are a 50/50 mix of CLT and pre cast concrete creating a structure that enjoys the warmth and environmental benefits of timber with the structural and passive cooling benefits of concrete. Natural ventilation on a noisy site was achieved by an innovative window system. The team needed to incorporate a 150mm deep acoustic louvre into the vents that was only possible with a timber composite window.

There are four wings of offices around a central atrium used as a large breakout area and two touchdown decks. The atrium is the heart of the building, creating visual connectedness and opportunities for spontaneous meetings as users move across the building. Acoustics within the open plan office areas have been dealt with through the use of a perforated spruce board supplied by the CLT frame subcontractor. These have been stained white to match the other ceiling finishes.

Oak is utilised extensively throughout the building, particularly in the reception area where a 5m high-slatted oak wall has been installed that provides acoustic absorption and creates display spaces. Oak Junkers raised flooring has been installed in all circulation spaces and the large communal breakout café space. The extensive use of exposed spruce structure and solid oak detailing creates a feeling of calm and warmth in the office environment.

Further Sustainability Information: Timber is FSC certified. The building is expected to achieve an exemplary Display Energy Certificate (DEC) A rating in 2017, once it has been in use for two years, and will be the first project in the UK to achieve that rating having applied BSRIA Soft Landings.

A ‘passive first’ approach was applied to every aspect of the architectural and services design, including orientation, daylight, form, ventilation, structure, acoustics and cooling. As the project progressed, the design was honed to remove unnecessary complexity in mechanical and electrical systems and to improve resilience. The offices have already achieved an outstanding EPC rating of 5: almost zero-carbon.