Engine Shed, based in Stirling, Scotland, will be the name of the new building conservation centre, due to open summer 2016, which will offer advice and engage people with conservation.
Organisation Historic Environment Scotland leads the project, with aims to raise the profile of how to look after traditional buildings.
As of 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland came together to form the new lead public body, Historic Environment Scotland.
Historic Environment Scotland is charged with caring for, protecting and promoting Scotland’s historic environment. The organisation endeavours to reach a wide range of audiences with this project including homeowners, families and school groups as well as professionals working in the sector helping to support and enable participation across the historic environment
The developments on Engine Shed began in May this year, with the construction phase and opening to the public on schedule for summer next year. The 56-week project involved restoration of the existing site, however with the addition of new two extensions on either side of the old engine shed. Esh Border Construction acted as main contractor.
To find out some further information Premier Construction caught up with Ian Walker, Building Crafts Development Manager of Historic Environment Scotland. Ian said:
“Treated as a conservation project, the restoration project was unique as it comprised the addition of extensions on either side to increase space size. The entire building now comes to 1100²m of single storey space. The space is very flexible, hosting a number of different events in the building.
“The existing building is a masonry constructed building; we’re not changing much in fact we’re retaining as much of the original fabric as possible. We fixed the slate roof and managed to salvage 75%of the slates, carried out timber repairs and we have taken out the steel windows to be refurbished and go back in.”
One thing that was essential was sustainability measures across both the rebuild and conservation restoration project. To support this, high levels of insulation were introduced, as well as triple glazing and three ground source heat pumps. The pumps include a storage capacity for water which will gain heat, subsequently being transported through a boiler.
“One of the big things is to see a conservation project, a whole building, be taken and re-used for that building. And after seeing the next extensions complement the existing building, for me it is great to see the building being re-used rather than for demolition.”
Dorothy Hoskins, Technical Outreach and Education Manager for Historic Environment Scotland, was also available to provide Premier Construction with some information regarding Engine Shed. Dorothy told us:
“It’s about engaging people with the buildings that surround them and raising the profile of the existing buildings. There are a few very simple messages and key approaches to looking after these buildings, meaning that they will last for longer. For example, even the simplest of things such as keeping the gutters clear and using the right materials for repairs will prolong the life of your building.”
As well as offering a technical conservation masters qualification, and a variety of CPD courses for those working with buildings, the programme will also include masterclasses for homeowners on topics as diverse as how to treat damp and how to make buildings more energy efficient. The Engine Shed will also run education programmes and workshops aimed at young people.
“It’s fantastic to be a part of this project; it really gives us a home for all of our outreach and education activities relating to conservation that we haven’t had before. It has allowed us to create a really wide range of events for the programme to reach a whole new set of audiences that we haven’t before in terms of the homeowner and members of the public.
“The feedback from the local community has been fantastic, it is really positive and everyone seems very engaged with the project.”