Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Alfriston Pool Wins Structural Prize in 2014 Wood Awards

The spectacular, timber-roofed swimming pool at Alfriston School, completed recently by Duggan Morris Architects and leading building environment and engineering firm Skelly & Couch, is the Structural Winner in the 2014 UK Wood Awards.

Alfriston is a secondary day and boarding school for girls in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, and caters for pupils with a wide range of special educational needs. The project brief was to provide a landmark building that would raise the profile of the school and provide facilities that could be used by staff, pupils, parents and the local community alike.

The captivating design of the pool building, with its geometrically folded timber roof, was described by judges as ‘structure and architecture united’. It features several innovative sustainable features devised by Skelly & Couch, including high levels of natural light, heat pump water heating coupled with a heat reclaim ventilation system, excellent airtightness values, strong levels of insulation, sensitive acoustics and highly efficient lighting and control.

The prefabricated timber structure is made from cross laminated Scandinavian whitewood forming the main beams, columns and rafters, with a laminated ply external skin.

Founded in 2007, Skelly & Couch won the prestigious 2014 Association for Consultancy and Engineering Project Design Excellence Award (companies with up to 250 employees) and its work has gained five BREEAM sustainability ratings of ‘Excellent’ over the past year.

In 2014 the firm’s projects won two RIBA National Awards: for Ortus learning and events centre (Duggan Morris Architects) and Drapers’ Academy (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios); a RIBA East Award for High House Artists’ Studios (HAT Projects); and two RIBA London Awards, for the Arts Centre at the Lady Eleanor Holles School (Walters & Cohen Architects) and Oily Cart Children’s Theatre (Hawkins\Brown). The 2014 British Construction Industry Awards named ORTUS Building Project of the Year (up to £10 milllion).

The annual Wood Awards honour excellence in British architecture, furniture and design using the world’s only naturally sustainable material.

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